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Urgent action now required to address West Belfast suicides - Adams

18 October, 2010 - by Pat Sheehan, Westminster

Sinn Féin MP for West Belfast Gerry Adams MLA has called for urgent action to be taken following the death of another young person through taking their own life this afternoon in west Belfast.

Speaking earlier Mr Adams said:

“I wish to extend my deepest sympathies to the family of the young man who has died this afternoon.

“North and West Belfast have some of the highest rates of suicide on the island of Ireland. In recent months the west of the city has seen a high rise in these rates. Within the last two days, two young men have taken their own lives, bringing the total number of deaths in recent months to ten.

“It is clear that whatever mechanisms or measures which are in place to address suicide  are not proving sufficient. This situation is now at crisis level and urgent attention must be directed towards those areas affected.

“We need to see an immediate transfer of resources to address this problem in order concentrate on the fact that young people are left feeling hopeless or in despair, bringing them to this point. Whether this be in health, youth or community provision, or within any other sector that can help, this redirecting of resources must happen now.

“Earlier today my colleague Jennifer McCann called for a meeting with the Health Minister Micheal McGimpsey on this very issue. He must now make this a priority.”

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