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Comprehensive cross departmental approach needed to tackle suicide

29 June, 2011 - by Jennifer McCann

Sinn Féin MLA for West Belfast Jennifer McCann has stated that the issue of suicide has once again been placed in the spotlight with the release of a report into suicide rates yet we are still failing to get to grips with the problem.

Speaking today Ms McCann said:

“The startling figures released today highlighting once again the high rates of suicide in the North, and especially in areas like West and North Belfast, cannot be ignored. 

“Suicide takes more lives per year than deaths on the roads.  There is a strong and pointed campaign to address road safety and reduce these deaths yet with suicide we see no billboards, no TV adds,  and not enough service provision.

“While the issue of suicide is not just an issue for the health department there is most certainly a need to address the huge underfunding of mental health within our society there needs to a comprehensive mental health strategy brought forward, led by the Health Minister, that examines more than point of care delivery.

“If we are truly to address the problems that people face and that place them in a vulnerable position we must look to address the problems of poverty and social exclusion and preventative measures.

“Mental health can be boosted by proper living conditions, opportunities, feelings of self worth and education to name but a few.

“This is the real comprehensive, cross cutting approach that is needed and I am urging the Executive to table this issue with urgency and reach consensus on a multi-departmental approach." crioch

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