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."


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

12 March 2020
Eastern Airways Saves Belfast-Southampton Route
Flights from Belfast City Airport to Southampton have been saved by Eastern Airways. The airline stepped in to fulfil the busy route after announcing on Monday that it was creating a six-times weekly Belfast to Teeside International Airport flight. The daily Southampton flights are now available for booking and will begin on Monday 23 March.
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.
19 March 2020
Woman Left Frightened After West Belfast Burglary
A woman has been left shaken after she was forced to the ground and threatened by three males who had forced entry to her home. Police have launched an investigation following the aggravated burglary in west Belfast on Wednesday evening, 18 March.
12 March 2020
Coronavirus: BCC To Hold Special Meeting
Belfast City councillors are to convene in a special meeting to assess the growing threat of coronavirus. It comes after it emerged that protection measures are to be stepped up in the Republic of Ireland, with all schools, colleges and childcare facilities to close. A total of 20 cases of the virus have been confirmed in Northern Ireland.
01 December 2011
'Holistic Approach' Key To Suicide Prevention
A new study into suicide has suggested a wide-ranging, 'holistic' approach to prevention has the best chance of success. The official findings into research on suicidal men, aged 16-34, in Northern Ireland, were launched today.