News

Council working with PHA to prevent suicide

Tuesday 5 September 2017

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has pledged to work in partnership with the Public Health Agency (PHA) to raise awareness of suicide prevention.

Mayor Cllr Paul Reid, Mary Black, PHA Assistant Director of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement and Deputy Mayor Cllr Cheryl Johnston launching the new partnership between Mid and East Antrim and Public Health Agency NI.

The collaboration will also involve community partners and help to promote mental and emotional wellbeing. Mid and East Antrim are the first council in Northern Ireland to form this partnership.

Local politicians and senior council staff will take part in awareness sessions to outline the important role they can play and create direct contacts with support services across the Borough.

It comes ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September 2017.

The Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Anne Donaghy said, “This partnership with the Public Health Agency to educate Council on how we can help the citizens across Mid and East Antrim is invaluable.

“Suicide and mental health are extremely important issues close to my heart. We want to see safe and healthy communities for all of our citizens. As part of our Community Plan, Council will continue to work with our partners to secure a better quality of life, improved health and wellbeing across our Borough.”

Council staff and Elected Members received an information pack about what support services and local programmes focusing on mental health and suicide prevention are happening in their area.

Ms Donaghy continued, “Elected Members interact regularly with their communities and have an important role to play in frontline intervention for those in crisis. With guidance from the PHA, they can now look out for those who may be struggling and respond effectively when approached for help.”

Mary Black, Assistant Director of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement, PHA, said, “We are delighted to work in partnership with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to raise awareness about mental and emotional wellbeing and raise awareness of suicide prevention.

“Elected representatives often come into contact with constituents facing life’s biggest challenges such as illness, death, job loss and family breakdown. Their role offers an opportunity to help people at risk of suicide who may not initially seek support from mental health professionals or even from family members.”

Awareness sessions for all Elected Members and Senior Council Staff will take place in October.

More information on looking after your mental health and the support which is available across Northern Ireland can be found at www.mindingyourhead.info

If you or someone you know is in distress or despair, call Lifeline on T: 0808 808 8000. The free-phone helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You can also access the Lifeline website