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Every day should be suicide prevention day

Today is World Suicide Prevention day when we remember those loved ones that we’ve lost to suicide, writes Queer Greens chair Anthony Flynn.

Today marks a time when we should come together to rally, lobby and increase awareness of the increasing rates of suicide and self-harm in Northern Ireland.

Indeed, every day should be suicide prevention day.

Since 1970, suicide rates have steadily increased, affecting four times as many men than women, across all ages.

There are many factors which contribute, including deprivation, alcohol and substance misuse and relationship breakdowns.

Just one loved one lost to suicide is too many and it is illustrative of the serious problems that we face in terms of the mental health of our people, both young and old.

We must take steps to ensure that government not only focuses on suicide prevention, but acts on it to ensure greater knowledge of the issues so that prevention can take place. Compassion and understanding is needed.

Organisations such as Samaritans or Lifeline are there 24/7 to provide a non-judgmental listening ear to all of us should we need it.

So please support this day to help create hope – raise awareness, speak to loved ones, share stories, act and prevent.

#WSPD15

Anthony Flynn
Chairman, Queer Greens

10 September 2015

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