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Sinn Féin calls for resources to tackle suicide

10 October, 2003

Sinn Fein education spokesperson, Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew has called for greater resources to support young people at risk from suicide. Ms Gildernew said:

"At present there are insufficient resources committed to providing support for young people at risk from suicide. This leaves them exposed to problems of alienation, low self-esteem and social exclusion. It also creates difficulties for teachers and parents alike.

"The education department, the education library boards and Health and Social Services Trusts should commit resources to providing in schools support services for our young people either through access to counsellors on site or through the use of peer educators that is beginning to deliver very positive results.

"I would like to see resources made available through the Education Action Zones support our schools and young, particularly in making the complex and difficult transition to adulthood. "Not only are young people dealing with the consequences of decades of conflict on top of the many interlinking personal and social difficulties but the reality is that in many areas sustained generational disadvantage and on some level hopelessness make it increasingly difficult for our young people to take a positive outlook on life and to realise their own full potential." ENDS

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