Derry suicide prevention project saving lives

Joe Thompson, Community Crisis Intervention Service project co-ordinator
Joe Thompson, Community Crisis Intervention Service project co-ordinator

A new suicide prevention project in Derry is already saving lives, according to the organisation involved.

Over 70 people have been helped by the Community Crisis Intervention Service (CCIS) which was set up in Derry at the beginning of this year.

The service, which is based at the Holywell building at Bishop Street, operates each week from 8pm on Thursday until 8am on Sunday.

People in distress are referred to the service from a range of sources, including friends and family and medical professionals.

Help and support is then offered to those who are in distress.

The service is managed by social justice charity Extern NI and is funded by Derry City and Strabane District Council.

A group of young people involved in a Headliners media project have spoken to those involved in the CCIS initiative.

Headliners is a Derry-based charity which teaches journalism skills to young people to enable them to have their voices heard in their communities.

As part of a project exploring the issue of suicide in Derry, the young people interviewed Joe Thompson who is CCIS project co-ordinator.

He said he was pleased with the support that they have been able to offer since the project was set up.

“We are a weekend-only service and to date we have seen over 70 people,” he said.

“We have been operating since January 3 and I think we have certainly helped those people manage their mental health and I think we have certainly had an impact on the vast majority of them where it has been a positive experience for them.

“And those people are still alive today because of the help and assistance that they have got, not just from ourselves but after that.”

Mr Thompson added: “The big step is asking for help.

“After that the process can all help and assist people to stay alive.”

The young people involved in the Headliners project have produced a video which focuses on the work being done in Derry to prevent suicide.

The video can be viewed at www.headliners.org
The Community Crisis Intervention Centre can be contacted by calling 02871262300 during operating hours.