Suicide is everyone’s business: Targeted events to promote mental health and prevent suicide in the Western Trust area


Suicide is everyone’s business: Targeted events to promote mental health and prevent suicide in the Western Trust area

The Western Health and Social Care Trust is leading on a number of planned events to mark World Suicide Prevention Day, Saturday 10 September and World Mental Health Day on Monday 10 October.


The month long calendar of events has been organised to bring together a range of people from the community, voluntary and statutory sectors that are committed to the prevention of suicide.  All events are also open to all interested members of the public.


Launching the events campaign, Debbie Hunter, Health Improvement Officer for the Western Trust said:“The Western Trust recognises that suicide affects everyone and there is a shared responsibility to do all we can to prevent it. This year we have organised a number of events to showcase the good work taking place across the Western area and to highlight what is being done here to prevent suicide and promote good mental health." 


On World Suicide Prevention Day the North West Bereaved by Suicide Support Group will be attending a ‘walk out of darkness’ in Belfast to remember loved ones who have been lost to suicide. The Health Improvement Department of the Western Trust are facilitating a number of training courses relating to promoting mental health and preventing suicide including ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training), Safe Talk, Mental Health First Aid and Self esteem builders classes.  A conference called ‘Virtual lives’, which will examine the impact of new technology on the emotional health and wellbeing of young people, will be held in October. The month of events ends with a SingToncity workshop to promote and experience the healing benefits of song through vibrational healing at the Mental Health conference in Magee University, Londonderry on 28 October.


Brendan Bonner, Head of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement (West), Public Health Agency (PHA), and chair of the Western Suicide Strategy Implementation Group endorsed the calendar of events. He said:“The PHA recognises that suicide is a hugely complex issue and we are greatly concerned that a growing number of people are responding to life’s difficulties by self-harming and taking their life by suicide.  As a result we wish to play an active role in supporting a range of initiatives that will help to support those in need to help sustain life.


“The calendar of events is reflective of the investment we are making in the Western area to prevent suicide and promote mental health.  This support and investment is also spread across Northern Ireland, not only for World Suicide Prevention Day, where thousands of people are expected to take part in many events, including walking to Belfast City Hall, but also in the networks, services and organisations working to reduce the tragedy of suicide.”


If you are in distress or despair counsellors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through Lifeline (0808 808 8000) to listen to you and give you the help and support you need, in confidence.


Please click here for the Events Calendar