A new leaflet aimed at reducing the rate of suicide on both sides of the border has been launched in Armagh.
Health Ministers Michelle O’Neill MLA and Simon Harris TD unveiled the ‘Concerned About Suicide’ publication at a meeting of the North-South Ministerial Council in the city on Wednesday.
And the message they wanted to get out was that asking, listening and getting help for someone can prevent suicide.
The leaflet highlights how to recognise that someone may be at risk, what to say and importantly how to help someone.
Health Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “Suicide is an important issue both north and south and affects all communities. This leaflet will help to raise awareness and put people in contact with sources of support.
“For many people, being able to talk to someone they trust about how they are feeling could be the first step towards recovery.
“A person who is thinking about suicide may not ask for help but that doesn’t mean that help is not wanted. Letting someone know you are concerned about them, listening and giving support and seeking help are pivotal in helping someone come through a very difficult time in their life.”
Her southern counterpart, Simon Harris TD, added: “Evidence suggests that one in four of us will experience a mental health challenge in our life time. Informative measures, such as this leaflet, play an important role in encouraging open conversation around what can be a difficult topic.
“I hope the launch of this leaflet will help sign post when an individual may need help and the measures that can be taken to assist them.
“We all have a role to play in helping to prevent suicide, as family, friends or simply acquaintances. This leaflet will help to provide practical information on how best to approach this very sensitive issue and I commend everyone involved in putting it together.”
If you or someone you know is in distress or despair, call Lifeline 24/7 on 0808 808 8000 (NI), call the Samaritans 24-7 on 116 123 (RoI) or contact your GP for support and advice.
The leaflet is available at: http://pha.site/quxK (NI) https://www.healthpromotion.ie/hp-files/docs/HSP00637.pdf (RoI).
This leaflet was produced as part of the North-South cooperation in implementing the Protect Life and Connecting for Life (Ireland) suicide prevention strategies.