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Adams welcomes Additional Funding for Suicide Prevention

13 April, 2008

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, MP MLA for West Belfast, has welcomed the allocation of additional funding for community work to prevent suicide in west and north Belfast.

The allocation will mean that £463k, including the additional funding, is available for this year.

Mr Adams said:

"I discussed the suicide prevention funding for west and north Belfast with the Minister for Health in February. The community of north and west Belfast has a disproportionate need of support because of the extremely high suicide levels in these areas. Community based services have done sterling work.

"The Department's calculations for allocation of the community support package for suicide prevention needed to reflect this disproportionate objective need. I had asked the Minister for Health Michael McGimpsey to ensure that this would be sustained this year. I welcome his decision to do so.

"Whether this allocation is sufficient to also meet the requirements of two specific projects, which I raised with the Minister, remains to be clarified. The project based in the Mater Hospital dedicated to addressing self-harm and the suicide prevention project on the Shankill known as RAYS have both been funded through the 'Renewing Communities' fund. That was a DSD fund. We have raised this matter and are awaiting confirmation of what level of funding will be provided.

"Suicide prevention needs sustained resources. We need to make the provision of funding long-term so that the lifeline provided to people at greatest risk of suicide is not cut off by short-term funding." ENDS

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