Sinn Féin MLA Órlaithí Flynn has said the review into suicide figures raises further questions why the Department of Health do not commission a single addiction and mental health service across the north.
The party’s spokesperson for Suicide Prevention, Drugs and Alcohol said:
“The review into suicide statistics has produced interesting findings with some drug-related deaths previously being categorised as death by suicide.
“However, this technical change will not change or lessen the grief and trauma felt by families and communities.
“Drug-related death and death by suicide is still a tragic and preventable loss, and my thoughts go out to all families and communities grieving at this time.
“That confirmation is even more stark when we hear that drug-related deaths are potentially higher than expected. It is disgraceful and needs to be resolved urgently.
“It is vital we see the full implementation of the Suicide Prevention Strategy, Protect Life 2, and the publication of the Substance Use strategy.
“I am requesting a briefing from the Department of Health, NISRA and the Coroners Service for the Next All-Party-Group meeting.”