New body to tackle suicide, homelessness

Derry City and Strabane District Council Mayor Elisha McCallion. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 01.04.15
Derry City and Strabane District Council Mayor Elisha McCallion. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 01.04.15

Derry & Strabane Council, health chiefs, police and a wide range of other bodies have jointly set up a new forum to address suicide, alcohol and homelessness in Derry and Strabane.

The Council-led Civic Forum initiative is being set up to address pressing issues facing citizens, families and communities.

The establishment of the Forum was agreed by the Council back in September 2015.

Three months later, the Council led a multi-agency working group to develop a ‘Charter of Commitment’ to support the development of the new Forum, which would be supported by key statutory agencies.

A report brought before the Council’s Health and Community Committee yesterday stated that signatories pledging their commitment to the Forum include the Western Health and Social Care Trust; Council for the Homeless NI; the PSNI; Police and Community Safety Partnership; Public Health Agency; Education Authority (Youth Services); Housing Executive; and Derry Healthy Cities.

A multi-agency working group supported by Mayor Elisha McCallion meanwhile recently held a conference entitled ‘Every Connection Matters’ which was attended by 134 people from across the community, voluntary and statutory sectors.

“The Civic Forum’s role, purpose and work programme is currently being developed to provide for partnership activities which will address issues relating to alcohol, drugs, emotional wellbeing and suicide prevention and homelessness,” the report states.