Asking, listening and getting help for someone can prevent suicide.
That was the message from Health Ministers, Michelle O’Neill MLA and Simon Harris TD as they jointly launched a new North South ‘Concerned about Suicide’ leaflet.
Launched at the North South Ministerial Council meeting in Armagh today the leaflet highlights how to recognise that someone may be at risk, what to say and importantly how to help someone.
Health Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “Suicide is an important issue both north and south and affects all communities. This leaflet will help to raise awareness and put people in contact with sources of support.
“For many people, being able to talk to someone they trust about how they are feeling could be the first step towards recovery.”
Minister O’Neill continued: “A person who is thinking about suicide may not ask for help but that doesn’t mean that help is not wanted. Letting someone know you are concerned about them, listening and giving support and seeking help are pivotal in helping someone come through a very difficult time in their life.”
Speaking about the leaflet Health Minister Simon Harris TD commented: “Evidence suggests that one in four of us will experience a mental health challenge in our life time. Informative measures, such as this leaflet, play an important role in encouraging open conversation around what can be a difficult topic. I hope the launch of this leaflet will help sign post when an individual may need help and the measures that can be taken to assist them.
“We all have a role to play in helping to prevent suicide, as family, friends or simply acquaintances. This leaflet will help to provide practical information on how best to approach this very sensitive issue and I commend everyone involved in putting it together.”
If you or someone you know is in distress or despair, call Lifeline 24/7 on 0808 808 8000 (based in north of Ireland), call the Samaritans 24-7 on 116 123 (based in the south of Ireland) or contact your GP for support and advice.
This leaflet was produced as part of the North South cooperation in implementing the Protect Life (in the north of Ireland) and Connecting for Life (Ireland) suicide prevention strategies.
Notes to editors:
1. 20,000 copies of the leaflet have been printed and distributed in the north of Ireland. This will be a common resource to be used in the North and South.
2. This is a collaborative North South leaflet with minor differences to reflect relevant contact details for someone needing support.
3. For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office on 028 9052 0575, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For out of hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 0762 397 4383 and your call will be returned. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt
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