‘Suicide and its prevention is everyone’s business’

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A Western Trust manager says suicide is everyone’s business and there is a shared responsibility on all of us to do all we can to prevent it.

Marie Dunne, Assistant Manager at the Trust’s Health Improvement Department, made the comments as the health authority launched a calendar of local events to promote better mental health and prevent suicide.

She said: “The Trust recognises the importance of promoting positive mental health messages through a range of activities highlighted on the Calendar of Events.

“It is vital that those living within the Western Trust area are aware of relevant mental health and suicide prevention training, initiatives and programmes which they can access locally. Suicide is everyone’s business and there is a shared responsibility to do all we can to prevent it.”

Several events have been organised to mark both World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September 2015) and World Mental Health Day (10 October 2015).

Yvonne McWhirter, Adult Mental Health and Disability Services for the Western Trust is fully supportive of these initiatives being highlighted in the calendar being launched and said: “This calendar details a number of training and awareness events between World Suicide Prevention Day and World Mental Health Day and both are key dates in the mental health calendar. It is important to promote positive mental wellbeing for everyone and so activities which focus our attention on positive mental health are essential.”

Brendan Bonner, Head of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement (West), Public Health Agency (PHA), and co-chair of the Western Emotional Wellbeing and Suicide Prevention Strategy Implementation Group endorsing the calendar of events said: “The PHA recognises that suicide is a hugely complex issue and continues to influence and support initiatives that will shape attitudes to, and awareness of, health issues, as well as raising awareness of health in its broadest context. Many aspects of life impact on our health and wellbeing, including the environment we live in, poverty, isolation, relationships and employment to mention just a few. The calendar of events reflects some of the investment the PHA are making in the West in terms of suicide prevention and the promotion of positive emotional wellbeing.”

If you are in distress or despair counsellors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through Lifeline (0808 808 8000) to listen to you and give you the help and support you need, in confidence.

Copies of the calendar of events are available on our Western Trust’s website on: www.westerntrust.hscni.net