Young people have an important role to play in raising awareness of suicide, local teenagers who completed a suicide education programme were told.
Eighteen young people from Derry took part in the ‘Mind Your Mate’ programme delivered by suicide support group, Pips. The training programme was organised by Sinn Féin Republican Youth (SFRY) in Derry.
SFRY activist Ruairí McLaughlin encouraged young people to lobby politicians on suicide awareness.
“I wrote an article in 2011 and in it included statistics from the National Office of Suicide Prevention which said that in 2010 in the south of Ireland there were 486 deaths by suicide. At a recent event in Derry, Minister Carál Ní Chuilín pointed out that we have lost more people to suicide in recent times, than have died on our roads across the north.
“When we look at this information and consider the Samaritans 2011 suicide report which says, ‘It is commonly acknowledged by professionals in the field of suicide research that official statistics underestimate the true number and rate of suicide’ it puts it into perspective just how serious a problem we have here.
“The question is, what can we as ordinary people do to help reduce suicide in our communities? The answer is – a lot. We can lobby our Councillors, MLAs, TDs, MPs, MEPs, any and every elected representative you have to ensure that suicide prevention remains on the agenda.
“I would like to thank PIP’s suicide awareness charity, for facilitating the ‘Mind your Mate’ programme in Derry .
“Eighteen young people from the local community attended and are now trained in suicide prevention,” Ruairí said.