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Executive working together to prevent suicide

Collaboration between Government Departments is vital in the fight against suicide.
Thursday, 31 January 2013

That was the message from Health Minister Edwin Poots today as he chaired the Ministerial Co-ordination Group on Suicide Prevention.

The meeting provided a forum for Departments to give an update on suicide prevention measures they are taking forward in line with the Protect Life strategy. Discussion also took place about how best to move forward on this issue.

Minister Poots said: "Suicide has a devastating effect on individuals, families and communities. Around 300 people a year continue to die by suicide in Northern Ireland and we simply cannot afford to stand still.

"We are all aware of the challenges in preventing suicide and that it cannot be tackled in isolation. I am encouraged to hear about the good work that is being done across Government in collaboration with the Public Health Agency. The range of activity is very broad encompassing mental health promotion in schools, youth unemployment, information on mental health services in libraries, building self-esteem through sport, equipping rural networks to promote positive mental health in their communities, and suicide prevention training for prison staff and police officers.

“However, we cannot become complacent and more needs to be done. This Ministerial group is an important forum for linking this work and for continuing the momentum in the drive against suicide right across Government."

This was the seventh meeting of the Ministerial Group on Suicide Prevention.

Notes to editors:

1. Media queries about this press release to DHSSPS Press Office on 028 9052 0571 or out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned.