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Views sought from borough residents on suicide prevention

Residents will be given an opportunity to shape NI’s strategy for suicide prevention at a Community Engagement Session on Wednesday 26 October at 2pm in Craigavon Civic & Conference Centre.

Hosted by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council in partnership with VSB Foundation and Closing the Gap, the session will seek views on the draft strategy and action plan, ‘Protect Life 2 – A Strategy for Suicide Prevention’, put forward by the Minister of Health, Michelle O’Neill to tackle the issue of suicide in the region.

Open to individuals and organisations, this important consultation (which closes on 4 November 2016) focuses on an issue that affects all walks of life. In Northern Ireland an average of 274 people die by suicide each year and many more are affected by suicidal thoughts at some point in their lives.

The strategy aims to gain a better understanding of suicidal behaviour; improve the identification of and response to suicidal behaviour; prevent suicide by people in crisis; support recovery from suicidal behaviour and repeat self-harming; and support those bereaved by suicide.

Health Minister Michelle O’Neill said, “Each life lost to suicide is a tragic loss of opportunity and potential and each life lost is one life too many.

“We will continue to involve communities and individuals whose lives have been affected by the suicide of family, friends and neighbours. It is only through this co-ordinated working that we can meet the challenge of reducing suicide rates.”

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Councillor Garath Keating encouraged people to attend,

“The session is open to everyone in the community, and to ensure this response is relevant for the needs of our entire population, I would particularly encourage people who are not already involved in suicide prevention initiatives or services to participate.”

Please book your place by contacting Joan Dixon on 028 3751 5800 or e-mail Joan.Dixon@armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk. The consultation can be found www.health-ni.gov.uk and responses received.

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