Issued on behalf of the Colin Health for All Suicide Prevention Task Group
A special meeting of the Colin Health for All – Suicide Prevention Task Group took place on Thursday (21 October) to respond to community concerns about the number of recent suicides in the area.
At the meeting representatives from a wide range of community, statutory, voluntary partners and local groups took part in the first steps in putting together a community response plan, to address the issues relating to recent tragic events and loss of life.
Speaking after the meeting Annie Armstrong, Colin Neighbourhood Partnership and Co-Chair of the Task Group said,
“This is a sad time for the Colin community as more young lives have been lost. Unfortunately this is an experience which has been shared by many communities across NI. Members of the Colin Task Group have agreed to work to develop a community response plan while making every effort to create awareness of the LIFELINE service set up to provide support to those in distress.
I would encourage anyone who is in despair or crisis themselves or even has concerns about a son, daughter or friend to avail of this free confidential support service. You can contact the service either by calling Lifeline’s telephone number on 0808 808 8000 or by accessing the newly launched website www.lifelinehelpline.info
Mary Creaney, Families Voices Regional spokesperson added, “We would like to offer our condolences to the families affected by the recent deaths and want to reassure everyone that there is help and support available. It is vital that the families are given the privacy, time and space they deserve at this very difficult time as they are coming to terms with what has happened. I would urge the media, in particular, to respect this necessity.
Kevin Bailey, South Eastern Trust Suicide Prevention Coordinator and Joint Chair of the Task group said “I would appeal to anyone who needs to talk to someone to access local support services. Trained professionals are available to provide advice, emotional support or just a listening ear. Our aim is to ensure that help is available where it is needed. If you have specific concerns about a member of your family please contact your family doctor or phone Lifeline on 0808 808 8000.”
Chris Totten, Public Health Agency, added “This meeting demonstrated the level of concern about the issue and the commitment from all the members of the Task Group, along with many others working with young people and families in the community, to tackle the problem. The priority is to offer help to those who need it now while putting in place a plan to prevent further loss of life. This builds on previous valuable work both for the immediately response and for the longer term.”
Call Lifeline: 0808 808 8000 if you need confidential support services and advice. This is a free helpline service available 24/7. You can also access the website www.lifelinehelpline.info
For further information contact the PHA Press office on 028 9031 1611. Out of Hours Mob: 07792 948641.
Notes to the editor
1. The Lifeline number is 0808 808 8000 and lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Calls are free from all landlines and mobile phones. The website address is www.lifelinehelpline.info.
2. Mary Creaney, Families Voices Forum Regional spokesperson can be contacted on 028 9023 9967; Mob: 07796 637615. She asks that bereaved families are NOT contacted directly.
3. Over 200,000 calls have been made to LIFELINE since the helpline opened.
4. The Lifeline counselling service is delivered by Contact Youth in partnership with a Northern Ireland-wide network of community based organisations which provide face-to-face counselling, complementary therapies and befriending to clients referred from Lifeline.
5. Please abide by Samaritans media guidelines on suicide: www.samaritans.org/pdf/IrishMediaGuidelines2009.pdf