Following a number of suicides recently in the Belfast area, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson for mental health and chair of the All-Party Group on Suicide Prevention, Órlaithí Flynn MLA said today:
“I want to send my condolences and thoughts to the families at this difficult time. We know that suicide is preventable and we know the devastation it has within communities.
“Sustained funding is needed to implement the Suicide Prevention Strategy – Protect Life 2 – to tackle the mental health and suicide crisis. Parties collectively secured the Department of Health’s publication of the strategy and we need to build on this progress.
“All Departments have signed up to their role in tackling the suicide and mental health crisis through the Protect Life 2 strategy, their actions need to match their commitments.
“We need to see mental health given parity of esteem with physical health, not seen as a Cinderella service or side-lined, if we are going to tackle the mental health crisis.
“I will be meeting with the Department of Health and the BHSCT alongside John Finucane, Gerry Kelly and Carál Ní Chuilín as part of our on-going work on suicide prevention.
“We will be insisting on the need for a more immediate implementation of Protect Life 2 strategy.
“I will also be raising the current crisis in the next meeting of the All-Party Group on Suicide Prevention on Thursday the 16th January at AMH New Horizons office in Enniskillen, from 11:30am to 2pm. For those who wish to attend please get in touch.”