Speaking in the Assembly today at the Youth Talks event to mark World Suicide Day, West Belfast Sinn Féin MLA and Chairperson of the Assembly’s Health Committee Sue Ramsey said there had been some good ideas on how we can tackle suicide.
Sue Ramsey said:
“Speaking to young people today I heard suggestions in relation to raising awareness of this issues including a greater focus in schools and how we change the whole public perception on mental health.
“It is becoming more and more clear that the topics of suicide and mental health are now subjects people are more willing to talk about.
“Events like this one today give us as MLAs, Committee Chairs and Ministers the opportunity to hear from those who are affected by suicide and self-harm.
"Part of a Committee’s role is to scrutinise our Departments and by hearing first hand what support is needed we can better inform Ministers and their officials to help them create policies and programmes suitable for our communities.
"The Protect Life Suicide Prevention Strategy which has been updated this year by the Department of Health is an example of how joined up working can benefit young people and those affected by suicide and self-harm.
“We need to see more initiatives like this actively rolled out across all sectors to help tackle the issue of suicide awareness and prevention. To do any less would be failing those in our communities who are in need of such support.”