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Local MP expresses sadness at County Armagh deaths

18 June, 2007

Sinn Féin Newry and Armagh MP Conor Murphy has expressed his sorrow and sadness at the recent deaths of young people in the Tandragee and Laurelvale areas and extended his condolences and sympathies to the families.

The MP who recently met with the local PIPS group to discuss the issue, said that the levels of suicide and self harm were increasing at a frightening rate.

Mr Murphy said:

"Last year alone there were more than 600 reported deaths by suicide on the island of Ireland, a significant increase from the previous year.

This figure does not take account of deaths not listed as suicide, or of the huge numbers of mainly young people who self harm.

"We must ensure that when people do seek help that the services are there to help them - services that must be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. And these services must be tailored to suit the needs of our people. That means the current 24/7 helpline and referral service needs to be extended across the north."

"There is an urgent need for more community based services, more psychiatric nurses, more psychiatrists, and more psychologists. All of this requires funding, planning and the political will to implement such strategies. It is also vital that this issue is pursued on an all-Ireland basis. Suicide knows no boundaries or borders and a joined up approach by the two health services on this island will ensure more resources are available to tackle this problem." ENDS

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