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Gerry Adams welcomes Ministerial meeting on Suicide Prevention

15 November, 2005

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has welcomed the meeting today between the Direct Rule Health Minister Shaun Woodward and the Irish Heath Minister Mary Harney. Amongst the issues discussed at the meeting was the issue of suicide prevention.

Mr Adams said:

"There is a heavy onus on everyone to ensure that real and effective measures are taken to prevent and halt the alarming rise in suicide rates across the whole island. I have been in regular contact with both governments on this issue and I welcome today's meeting between the Heath Ministers North and South.

"Any meaningful strategy on suicide prevention must be set in the context of an all Ireland approach, which will best utilise the resources available, including the targeting of mental health resources across the various health boards in a coordinated approach.

" I have already asked Shaun Woodward and Mary Harney, the Minister for Health, to make suicide prevention an area of co-operation under the North-South Ministerial Council to give the issue the strategic co-ordination it requires.

"We simply do not have time to stall any longer on this issue. Suicide rates across the island have increased by 25% over the past ten years. Suicide prevention needs to be tackled and tackled now. Too many young people in particular have been lost and too many families have been left devastated." ENDS

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