Open suicide prevention centres in Northern Ireland for people in distress or despair
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Heartbroken Strabane mum Hester Glenn lost her sports star son Jack Glenn to suicide in 2017.
Northern Ireland has the highest suicide rate in the UK and in 2015 had the highest on record. Recently, there have been a number of high profile tragic cases of young people taking their own lives, especially in north Belfast and the north west of the province.
Hester is now joining forces with Downtown Radio & Cool FM's 'Invest in Life' campaign calling for specialist suicide crisis centres in Northern Ireland.
These would be safe spaces in areas where suicide rates are high for people who are in distress or despair to meet qualified mental and physical health professionals. They would receive help and support as well as follow up care and referrals to mental health services.
In 2017, north Belfast MP Nigel Dodds told Downtown Radio and Cool FM high suicide rates are becoming a 'major crisis' here.
The Department of Health here could make the change by providing more funding for such centres but also the DUP as part of their confidence and supply agreement with the Tory government. They pledged £50 million towards addressing immediate pressures within mental health here.
Specialist suicide crisis centres would help save lives across Northern Ireland and failure to do so may result in more tragic cases of suicide.
Hester would like any in the north west of the province to be named 'Jack's place' in memory of her late son.
If you or someone you know is in distress or despair, call Lifeline on 0808 808 8000 - the 24/7 crisis helpline and counselling service.
Calls are free from all landline and mobiles and is available for people of all ages,www.lifelinehelpline.info
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