Families Must Continue To Have Strong Voice In Suicide Prevention
Health Minister Michael McGimpsey has expressed his commitment to the full and effective implementation of Northern Ireland's Suicide Prevention Strategy.
He was speaking after a meeting with representatives from the Suicide Strategy Implementation Body and the Families Forum.
Mr McGimpsey said: "Suicide is a terrible tragedy that affects too many people in our society. I am determined to give the Suicide Prevention Strategy the attention and commitment it deserves. There are lives to be saved.
"Bereaved families have played an invaluable role in the implementation of the Strategy to date and I commend their strength and dedication in driving this agenda forward. They must continue to have a strong voice. We can learn so much from their experience."
The Minister continued: "Evidence suggests that that poor mental health is a contributory factor in many suicides. I have already announced that mental health must, and will, be a top priority. We must continue to look for new and innovative ways of reaching out to people who desperately need help."
Following the meeting with the Minister, Ann McGarrigle, Chair of the Families Forum said: "The Families Forum fully welcomes the promise of commitment that Michael McGimpsey has made. The full and effective implementation of the Strategy is crucial especially considering that suicide figures are on the rise. We need to get to the root of the problem. Children and young people especially need support