Suicide prevention initiative under threat
SUICIDE awareness campaigners have warned a scheme to reduce levels of self harm and suicide is in danger of being axed.
The ‘Card Before you Leave’ scheme that was launched in 2010 means any patient discharged from an in-patient, or an A&E setting, who requires ongoing attention from mental health teams, receives a card prior to discharge, giving details of contact numbers for support.
It’s designed to combat self-harm and suicide, which in Londonderry is 38 per cent higher than in the Western area generally.
Experts have even declared a ‘crisis’ in young male suicide and additional professional provision for those contemplating taking their own lives as a result of research undertaken in the city.
But now a Belfast-based campaign group has claimed the ‘Card Before you Leave’ initiative is in danger of being axed.
At the end of November 2012, the Belfast Mental Health Rights Group (BMHRG) says it was informed that the ‘Card Before you Leave’ was now subject to review.
Bobby Duffin a BMHRG member who lost his daughter to suicide, said: “The ‘Card Before you Leave’ is a lifeline for vulnerable people. “We campaigned long and hard for this so that things would change and I really hope that the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) and the Minister start showing that they take this problem seriously. We went to them in good faith and worked alongside them to produce positive results. They need to keep that going.”
A new report by the Men’s Health Forum Ireland (MHFI) has pointed out that amongst men aged 15-34 suicide is the principal cause of death in Ireland.
Last year the Sentinel reported how there were 1,018 emergency call-outs in 2011 in Londonderry where the chief complaint was either ‘overdose/poisoning (ingestion)’ or ‘psychiatric/abnormal behaviour/suicide attempts.’
One in seven deaths of people under 45 in Londonderry in 2011 were registered as suicides.
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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