26/04/2012

Suicide Awareness Training To Be Introduced To Council Staff

Suicide awareness training is to be introduced for all staff and politicians at Belfast City Council, the Lord Mayor has announced.

The new initiative is just one outcome of a community conference hosted at City Hall by Councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile.

Families affected by suicide are among those attending the 'Celebrating Life' event, aimed at raising awareness around positive mental health and suicide prevention.

Other outcomes of the discussions will include a report to inform the development of an emotional resilience and wellbeing strategy for the city, a key priority of the Belfast Strategic Partnership.

A new annual Lord Mayor's award, recognising individual efforts to promote positive mental health and help others, was also announced.

The Lord Mayor said: "Too many families across our city have been touched by the tragedy of suicide and, while acknowledging the good work being done by so many in the community, I want to play my part in addressing a subject which has such devastating consequences.

"I hope what I have organised will be direct engagement between statutory groups, local community groups, young people and their families – all of us working together to make a positive contribution to life in Belfast. I believe that, working in partnership, we can put together an action plan that will help save lives."

Dr David Becker, a world renowned expert on the effects of trauma in cities and regions emerging from conflict, told the conference that it was important to examine what he referred to as the psychosocial causes of suicide.

"In analyzing the issue, we must focus on the emotional reaction of individuals to their social context, and the conflict between the two."

Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive of the Public Health Agency, added: "Suicide and self-harm is a major problem which affects individuals, families and communities in Belfast and across Northern Ireland. The Public Health Agency supports a strategic approach rooted in the community to identify local needs and try to provide real solutions to this very complex issue. We are working in the Belfast Strategic Partnership and with local people who provide trusted, accessible community-based facilities, supported by skilled and experienced mental health professionals, all working together to promote positive mental and emotional wellbeing."

(CD/GK)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

08 February 2019
Man Charged Over Ian Ogle's Murder
A 33-year-old man has been charged with the murder of east Belfast community worker Ian Ogle. The defendant, Jonathon Brown from Belfast, appeared at Belfast Magistrates' Court this morning, Friday 08 December. He is due to appear again next month.
10 July 2006
Minister announces 'Family Forum' on suicide prevention
Health Minister Paul Goggins has announced the establishment of a Family Forum for relatives bereaved by suicide. The Forum will give families a key role in implementing Northern Ireland’s Suicide Prevention Strategy.
06 February 2019
Brexit: PM's Pledge To Avoid A Hard Border
Prime Minister Theresa May has visited Belfast to offer assurances over her Brexit strategy and reiterate her "unshakeable" commitment to avoiding a hard border in Ireland. "The UK Government will not let that happen. I will not let that happen," the Conservative leader told an audience in the city on the afternoon of Tuesday 05 February.
18 February 2019
Man Stabbed Twice In Separate Incidents In Belfast
A man has been stabbed in a fast food restaurant in north Belfast while paramedics treated him for an earlier stab wound. Police are appealing for witnesses and information following the incident in the OldPark Road area on Sunday 17 February. At around 6.
15 February 2019
Danske Bank To Close Belfast And Bangor Branches
Danske Bank has announced plans to close two branches in County Down later this year. The Lisburn Road, Belfast, and Main Street, Bangor sites will close on Friday 24 May. Richard Caldwell, Managing Director of personal banking at the facility said the closure was due to a shift in customer trends, including the growing use of online banking.