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Council asked to back calls for ‘suicide prevention centres’ to help save lives

Specific centres would provide 'a safe space for those in despair or distress'

Suicide person alone

Mounting pressure is growing for the establishment of specific ‘suicide prevention centres’ across Northern Ireland.

And Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is being asked to lend its voice to the campaign.

The Department of Health is facing fresh calls daily for such an initiative.

And the NMD Council is expected to lend its voice to the campaign, in response to the shocking number of lives lost needlessly each year.

SDLP Councillor Gareth Sharvin has tabled a notice of  motion which will go to Newry, Mourne and Down District Council’s monthly meeting on Monday.

He is asking that fellow councillors join him in backing the campaign and that collectively council “fully supports the call on the Department of Health to develop and address the need for suicide prevention centres in Northern Ireland”.

According to Councillor Sharvin: “Northern Ireland has the highest suicide rate in the UK and in 2015 had the highest on record.

“This highlights the need for suicide prevention centres that could provide a safe space for those in despair or distress.”

The meeting – due to take place at the Downshire Civic Centre – will also see councillors asked to approve official correspondence on the issue to the Permanent Secretary for the Department of Health, Richard Pengelly.

He would be asked to bring forward “a strategy that will support those with a mental health with the services they need”.

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