Root and branch approach to prevent more suicides

Independent Councillor Dee Quigley. DER2214MC072
Independent Councillor Dee Quigley. DER2214MC072

Derry & Strabane District Council have agreed to work towards ensuring that the number of people dying through suicide is reduced to none.

The ‘zero number approach’ was advocated in a motion put forward by Independent Councillor Dee Quigley before this week’s monthly meeting of the full council.

Derek Hussey, UUP, Strabane Council

Derek Hussey, UUP, Strabane Council

All parties on the council expressed their whole-hearted support and spoke of how many people’s lives across Derry and Strabane were impacted upon because of suicide related tragedy.

In presenting the motion, Colr. Quigley moved that “the new Derry and Strabane district council takes a zero number approach to suicides in the new council term and adopts new and innovative strategies and projects that are measurable by Kpi and that the new corporate plan includes these initiatives in a clear and concise manner.”

Speaking to the motion, Colr Quigley said: “The number of people who take their own lives in this council area is shockingly high, this crisis has visited too many families and communities in our town and others in the district.

“Families find themselves at a loss as to how to deal with this issue and the outcomes from a suicide.

“We need more resources and expertise in council when this issue is brought to any of our people. We need a root and branch approach to looking into the cases and council should be the vehicle for all involved to converge on, all professional and voluntary groups together to evaluate all cases and support those involved.”

Colr. Quigley further warned that a “resilient council area” could not be built while there were clear weaknesses in the communities they represented.

“Council should put measures in place for communities to become better equipped in order to deal with issues of suicide, mental health and how to cope with modern life,” Colr. Quigley added.

His motion was backed by all parties and independent councillors.