EAST Londonderry MLA Claire Sugden has urged people in crisis to reach out for support as World Suicide Prevention Day is marked.
Friends, family members and even strangers could also play a part in reducing suicide by being aware of the signs someone was vulnerable, Ms Sugden said.
“Suicide rates in Northern Ireland are the highest in the UK – it is devastating for families and they are all preventable,” she said. “Even one suicide is one tragedy too many and we need to be aware of the indications someone is considering taking their own life. Even something as simple as asking if someone is ok could be a vital intervention.
“If you find yourself in a dark place please reach out and ask for help. Everyone needs help at some time in their life.
“In addition to friends and family there are plenty of organisations you can speak to. I’m a big advocate of charities such as Samaritans who do great work in supporting people through times of crisis.”
World Suicide Prevention Day is marked today (September 10). Suicide prevention development officers in the Northern Area Community Network are holding a two-session Zoom programme called Being Kind to Yourself During Difficult Times (contact [email protected] to register). They have also put together 5 Steps Towards Wellbeing bags with information and freebies that can be collected from Causeway Rural and Urban Network (CRUN), 1 Brook Street, Coleraine.
You can participate in the day by lighting a candle in a window of your home at 8pm tonight (September 10). It can be in remembrance of a life lost or simply as recognition of the issue. It is organised by the International Association of Suicide Prevention.
You can contact Samaritans free from any phone on 116 123; Mind on 0300 123 3393 and CALM on 0800 585 858.