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Sinn Féin hold meeting with First Ministers on west Belfast suicide

1 February, 2011 - by Sue Ramsey

Sinn Féin MLA for west Belfast Sue Ramsey today led a delegation with Cllrs Charlene O Hara and Arder Carson as well as representatives from the Colin area, Annie Armstrong and Tony Silcott.

Speaking after the meeting with Martin McGuinness, Peter Robinson and Junior Minister Gerry Kelly at Stormont, Sue said;

“I want to thank the First Ministers for taking the time to listen to our concerns this morning; obviously the community in the Colin and general west Belfast area in particular are feeling the effects of the recent tragic events.

Both Ministers are aware of and acknowledge the vast amount of work being done to help communities and to engage directly with people in a very genuine way to prevent suicides taking place.

The Ministers informed us that the issue has been added to the agenda of the next executive meeting, this is a positive move and one which will hopefully keep this matter at the heart of Government.

It is our view that the Executive must continue to ensure they do all that they can to tackle the plight of suicides within our communities; we were heartened to hear the commitments from the First Ministers.

We must all work to ensure that the cross-departmental approach, led by the Department of Health, work to ensure that all that can be done on this matter is being done. That means counselling services where and when they are required, additional services to engage directly with young people in schools and youth clubs and ensure that as many people as possible are given the necessary training to identify people who are in despair and can signpost them to the relevant assistance.

Today’s meeting is part of our ongoing work and I look forward to meeting with other Ministers once again on this important issue.” CRÍOCH

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