‘Action needed to tackle devastation of suicide’ - Flynn
The extent of suicide rates across the island of Ireland show the need for action to tackle the issue and the devastation it causes, Sinn Fein MLA Órlaithí Flynn has said.
The party’s spokesperson on mental health was commenting following the release of the latest figures showing the numbers of suicides in 2017.
“The figures show that suicide remains a huge problem across the island of Ireland,” she said. “In 2017 there were 697 suicides on the island of Ireland, with 305 of these in the North. Tragically, this will come as no surprise to the many organisations and individuals who work tirelessly within our statutory, community or voluntary sectors.
“Every area across the North has been affected within the past year and in particular in parts of Belfast as well as in some rural areas like Fermanagh and South Tyrone. It is important to remember that behind every figure and statistic is a real family and community grieving and in need of support.
“We know that each suicide can be deeply devastating for families, friends and communities. At the recent Assembly All Party group on Suicide Prevention meeting, which I chair, we had a presentation highlighting that around 135 people can be affected by just one suicide.
“If we look at some of the areas in Belfast, this impact on social networks and communities can be affecting the same families and neighbourhoods over a course of a year.
“Recently I have been following up on the progress of the crisis de-escalation centres, the street triage services and the work being undertaken by the Health Trusts to prevent suicides.
“For anyone in crisis or who is feeling suicidal, please know that there is help out there and you can get better, please call Lifeline on Freephone 0808 808 8000.”