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
Suicide prevention support meeting in Colin
The Public Health Agency continues to work with the Colin Health for All Suicide Prevention Task Group who met yesterday, Sunday 30th January 2011, to consider the issues relating to recent tragic events and loss of life in the area.
The meeting was attended by representatives from the community Task Group including the Colin Neighbourhood Partnership, the Department of Health and Social Services and Public Safety, the Public Health Agency, both the South Eastern and Belfast Health Care Trusts, the South Eastern Education and Library Board, the Police Service for Northern Ireland and local political representatives.
Speaking after the meeting and on behalf of all the organisations present Annie Armstrong, Colin Neighbourhood Partnership and Co-Chair of the Task Group said, “This is a sad time for the Colin community and we would like to offer our condolences to those affected by the recent loss of life and want to reassure everyone that there is help and support available. It is vital that relatives 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.“
Members of the Colin Task Group have worked closely with local partners, organisations and the community to provide a wide range of help and support in the area. They want to ensure that everyone is aware of these services and in particular the availability of the regional LIFELINE service which is available 24/7 on 0808 808 8000 or by accessing the website www.lifelinehelpline.info
In addition to the ongoing range of services available plans have been made to provide additional services over the next week initially that will include targeted support within schools and youth settings, increasing vigilance across the area, a message to liaise with young people via Facebook and additional counselling support. Statutory Mental Health, CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) and, Family and Children’s Services have also arranged to provide additional resources for the area over the coming days.
The Colin Neighbourhood Office at the Dairy Farm Centre will remain open each evening until 8pm for anyone needing advice, help or support.
Annie Armstrong added, “I would encourage anyone who is in despair or crisis themselves or who may have concerns about a son, daughter or friend to avail of the help that is available.”
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 this support service. 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 0800 808 8000.
Many families that have been bereaved by suicide will undoubtedly feel this distress as they remember their loved ones at this time. Others may also be struggling with their own thoughts of suicide. If you are one of these family members or an individual struggling with suicide please know that support and advice is available.”
Suicide is something that we can help to prevent, given the right support. If you are concerned about someone follow these steps:
1. Show You Care
Offer support and let them know you care. Say something like:
‘I’m worried about you and I want to help’
Tell me about what’s worrying you’
‘What’s up? I’m very worried about you’
‘Whatever’s bothering you we will get through this together’
2. Ask The Question
Don’t be afraid to discuss suicide – asking about it won’t put the idea in people’s heads:
‘Have you been thinking about suicide?’
‘Do you feel like ending your life?’
‘Are you so down that you just want to end it all?’
Be a patient listener. Allow the person to tell you how bad things are for them. Being listened to by someone who cares can help to relieve the pain they are experiencing.
4. Call For Help - Lifeline: 0808 808 8000
Encourage them to look for help:
‘Let’s talk to someone who can help’
‘I will stay with you until you get help’
‘You’re not alone and there are people who can help you out of this situation’
For more information contact:
Annie Armstrong, Joint Chair of the Colin Task Group at Colin Neighbourhood Partnership, Telephone 028 9062 3813 or visit the CNP website on www.newcolin.com or
Kevin Bailey, South Eastern Trust Suicide Prevention Coordinator and Joint Chair of the Task Group, Telephone 07525898215
For further information contact:
Colin Neighbourhood Partnership
Tel: 02890 623813
Notes to the editor
1. The Colin Neighbourhood is an extensive urban district located on the periphery of West Belfast and falling within the Lisburn City Council local government area. It is comprised of four distinct areas – Twinbrook, Poleglass, Lagmore and Kilwee. The area experiences high levels of unemployment and non-employment, health and well being problems.
In September 1999 a group, now called the Colin Neighbourhood Partnership (CNP), was set up to highlight and address the issues detailed above and to discuss the way forward. The group comprises of key representatives from the local community and voluntary organisations, the local authority, statutory agencies, and political representatives.
The Task group meets on a regular basis to manage and coordinate the provision of local services and support to address the issues of suicide and self harm in the Colin Neighbourhood.
2. 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.
3. The media are asked to report on any deaths by suicide in a responsible way and follow the good practice guidelines as set out in the Samaritans/IAS Guidelines which is available from Samaritans by emailing email@example.com or by referring to the guidelines at www.samaritans.org/pdf/IrishMediaGuidelines2009.pdf