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Sinn Féin demand action on suicide

1 March, 2006

Sinn Féin North Belfast MLA Kathy Stanton commenting on the announcement from Direct Rule Health Minster Shaun Woodward of an independent review into circumstances surrounding the suicide of Danny McCarten focusing on the Health Board has demanded action and said that the Department of Health must accept responsibility for the absence of a strategy and lack resources and funding.

Ms Stanton said:

"The lack of mental health resources for children and adolescents, particularly in Belfast where there is no child and adolescent psychiatrist, has already been clearly identified.

"While this independent review is welcome, more so if it identifies the chronic gaps in support for people moving between child and adolescent services to adult services, the fact is that many of the problems are well understood. What is required is resources, funding and a strategic response.

"The department have already accepted that there has been chronic under funding of mental health services in North and West Belfast, of some £2 million a year.

"Sinn Féin have repeatedly demanded action in bringing forward a regional suicide prevention strategy precisely because the Department of Health has failed in its duty of care." ENDS

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