FORMER Lord Mayor and youth worker Mick Finn said he believes that without radical improvements in mental health services, there will be a surge of mentally damaged young people "maturing in a warped manner".
Mr Finn also believes there is a link between the housing crisis and the number of young people seeking help for suicidal thoughts.
Pieta House Cork revealed this week that children as young as five are having suicidal thoughts.
Mr Finn said: “I have no doubt with the prevalence of suicide, given the number of families and communities devastated by deaths to suicide in recent years, it has become part of the daily lexicon and young children know about it.
"It obviously crosses their minds because of what they hear or see.
"Young children are growing up in rooms with entire families which is impinging on their growth as normal youngsters,” Mr Finn added.
The councillor said he believes that unless the housing crisis is tackled immediately, today’s youths will face a life of mental turmoil.
“Many charity, voluntary and statutory organisations working with young people and families in recent times have warned that the fall-out from the housing shortages and living in emergency accommodation would be bleak and difficult to tackle and I believe these suicidal presentations among children so young is part of this fallout," he said.
Mr Finn stressed that the message is not hitting home with the Government.
“The fast-track approach to housing and more, longer-term accommodation is just taking too long.
"We have a situation where young children are arriving in school after long commutes from hotels and B&Bs, with parents tired and anxious and then the high likelihood of them having to move to other accommodations from week to week.
“You’d get tired of it on holidays not to mind doing it for up to two years which I know to be a fact for one family in the city.”
As a Youth Officer with Cork Education and Training Board, said the everyday challenges are significant and those at the front line require more help and resources from the state.