The Youth Engagement Service based at ‘Our Space’ in the city centre have erected a new Lifeline mural in the Bogside to help those in despair.
The new mural, painted on the side of the Bogside Inn, came about after the Youth Engagement Service was contacted by the local Sinn Féin Councillor Sharon Duddy.
Colr. Duddy said that while canvassing door-to-door, many people were opening up about mental health and suicide issues and how they’ve had recent experiences personally or with family members or friends and weren’t always sure where to get help.
Clare Maguire from the Youth Engagement Service said Lifeline is an amazing service in the city and that Colr. Duddy felt it would be poignant to put the contact details somewhere visible in the local community.
Clare said that they were contacted at their ‘YES @ Our Space’ Waterloo Place base because the Youth Engagement Service runs support services for 11 to 25-year-olds across the city, and provide a safe drop in where young people can access, one-to-work support, advice and signposting to help them improve their emotional health and well being.
“We are funded by the Public Health Agency and have been working from Waterloo Place for over three years,” she said.“In this time we have witnessed first hand the issues facing young people and ill mental health and suicide is something we are seeing more often.
“We are a universal service and support young people as far as we can, and ensure that they are referred on to specialist services when needed. We provide a safe environment where young people can take the first step to asking for help. If they have someone to talk to at Lifeline or a service like YES @ Our Space they may realise how important they are and that with the right help they can overcome whatever it is they are struggling with.”
Colr. Duddy said: “The local Martin McGuinness Cumann came up with the idea as they felt it was important to have this number as easily accessible as possible. We know being rooted in the local community the importance of these helplines. This is the main arterial route through the heart of Bogside and thousands of people will see the mural.
“In recent times our activists have made several positive interventions but it very important you go straight to the experts. I would like to pay tribute to the youth workers in the greater Bogside area and city centre who are working at the coal face in this community day and night in helping our young people.”
Thanking the Bogside Inn owner for giving permission, she added: “If by doing this initiative this number helps even one person in their hour of need then it will have been worth it.”