Calls for suicide prevention measures to be installed at Foyle Bridge

A local MLA has called for the erection of suicide prevention barrier infrastructure at the Foyle Bridge.

Sinn Féin MLA Pádraig Delargy issued the call after Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon announced pilot protection measures in north and west Belfast.

The Foyle MLA stated: “I welcome the moves to pilot suicide prevention barriers by the Department for Infrastructure. Tackling the mental health crisis is a key priority of mine. That is why I would like to see the initiative extended to Derry. Of course we need proper investment in mental health services in healthcare to tackle this issue, but I think this is just one action that should be delivered and could help save lives.”

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Ms. Mallon recently confirmed that initial design work for suicide prevention barriers for pilot sites at the Divis and Clifton road bridges in Belfast had been completed and that it is expected that installation works will commence by the summer.

Back in 2018 ‘Our Future Foyle’ - a joint Public Health Agency, City Centre Initiative and Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design project - proposed a series of interventions along the Derry riverfront, including at the Foyle Bridge, in order to change negative perceptions associated with the river. The initiative followed a PHA review to address suicide prevention concerns that was launched in 2010.

Mr. Delargy said: “This week I wrote to the Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon to engage with groups such as Our Future Foyle who have done work on this issue and look at providing suicide prevention barriers at Foyle Bridge.”

*Anyone in distress can contact Lifeline 08088088000, Samaritans 116123, or the Derry-based CCIS 02871262300.