Sinn Féin MLA Órlaithí Flynn has called for the Department of Health to commit to funding initiatives contained in the Suicide prevention strategy as well as increasing counselling services at GP practices.
Speaking after a meeting of the all-party group on suicide prevention, Órlaithí Flynn, said:
“The suicide prevention strategy needs to be fully funded and the Minister of Health needs to ensure it is a priority.
“The response needs to be more than just words and strategies; there is now a need for action and funding, including funding for counselling services in GP practices.
“The health service needs to address the issue of dual diagnosis and ensure those dealing with addictions should not face any barriers to accessing help.
“In order to seriously tackle the suicide rate and the high levels of mental ill health, the health service needs to look at the development of a new drugs and alcohol strategy.
“The Minister of Health needs to be the champion for all of health, including mental health.”