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Urgent action needed to address suicide levels in Colin area – McCann

18 October, 2010 - by Jennifer McCann

Sinn Féin MLA for West Belfast, Jennifer McCann, has stated that there needs to be urgent action to address the alarmingly high levels of suicide within the Colin area of West Belfast. Ms McCann was making her comments following the tragic death if a young person this weekend as a result of suicide This is the ninth person to take their own life in the area in recent months.

Speaking earlier Ms McCann said:

“I wish to send my sincerest sympathies to the family of the young man who has died. Tragically this is the ninth person to take their own life in the Colin area in recent months.

“West Belfast has one of the highest rates of suicide across the North and it is no coincidence that it is at the top of the scale when we are looking at social and economic disadvantage.

“What urgently needs to happen is for people who have responsibility for delivering these essential services to this area engage with young people and ask them what they need.  We cannot be complacent as the recent high levels of suicides in the area highlight and we can never assume we know what young people need without pro-actively going out there and engaging with them. 

“I am calling for an urgent review into service provision within the area that is directly targeted at stemming the rising levels of suicide in West Belfast and I have already asked for meeting with the Health Minister on this pressing issue.

“The current strategies for suicide prevention and health provision need to be enhanced drastically in the Colin as a focus area. If we allow this to continue we will fail the victims their families and the young people who are left behind to pick up the pieces.”

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