Ramsey: “Focussed strategic action needed to tackle suicide”
Sinn Féin MLA for west Belfast Sue Ramsey has called for a focussed Executive-led initiative to deal with the ongoing scourge of suicide in the north and west Belfast areas.
Speaking today Sue said;
“I attended another funeral in Twinbrook this morning, where countless children and young people are profoundly effected by the tragic events that have taken place over recent days.
Obviously our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends who are having to deal with these tragic circumstances.
Tomorrow I will lead a delegation of Sinn Féin Councillors and community representatives in a meeting with joint First Minister Martin McGuinness to discuss the issue of suicide after he visited the Colin area to engage directly with young people on the issues that affected them and what the Executive could do to act in relation to this matter.
We need to wake up to the reality of this matter, young people are more and more seeing suicide as a resolution to their problems; we have to ensure that a cross-departmental response which focuses on direct intervention is put in place. We must see additional counsellors and intervention workers put into these areas to engage directly with young people; schools, youth and community groups need to continue to receive the necessary funding and training to help tackle these problems and the community must be supported and helped to be made aware of what signs to look for.
There can be no quick-fix; all we can do is continue to take the time to sit down and talk directly with our children and young people, wherever it is they base themselves.
These are all issues we will again raise with Martin McGuinness at our meeting tomorrow.” CRÍOCH