MLA’s concern over suicide

Gary Middleton in the debating chamber at Stormont
Gary Middleton in the debating chamber at Stormont

DUP MLA Gary Middleton has called for everyone to play their part in helping to reduce the number of suicides taking place in the city and across the Province

He said that last week in Stormont at a Health Committee meeting, he questioned officials on the new ‘Protect Life’ strategy.

“It is deeply worrying that in the first three-quarters of last year, 2015, there has been a 20 per cent increase in the numbers of suicides in comparison with the same period in 2014,” he said.

“I do not like referring to statistics as behind every number is a family devastated.

“With such an increase we need to ensure we are doing all we can to prevent further deaths by suicide. There is evidence in Scotland that they are seeing a decline in the numbers of suicides.

“I have been assured by the Health Department that they are working with their colleagues in Scotland to improve preventative measures and to help tackle the new challenges such as psychoactive substances and online bullying which can lead to individuals taking their own lives.

“There is a clear need for early intervention and education for family members.

“We all have a part to play in assisting those who need help and ensuring they get the help they need,” he said.

Mr Middleton said one death by suicide was one too many: “I will continue to raise concerns and raise awareness of the services we have available in Northern Ireland provided by many fantastic organisations.”