Towards Zero Suicide - launch event

September 10, 2021
Today we attended the launch of Towards Zero Suicide, a Regional Suicide Prevention Care Pathway programme being rolled out in the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust.

We heard from a range of healthcare workers and organisations involved in Towards Zero Suicide, and three key messages were delivered: reach in, encourage understanding and share experiences with others.

The theme for the launch was creating hope through action and Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland, Sir Michael McBride, said in his key note address: “Today’s theme is a reminder that there is hope in our actions, no matter how big or small. Through action every one of us can make a difference.”

Alan Dagg, a Recovery College Peer Trainer with the South Eastern Trust, and a retired United States Navy Chief Petty Officer, gave a presentation on the suicide presentation care pathway within the Trust. He works with community and voluntary organisations in creating and sustaining safer suicide communities, using his lived experience as a survivor of suicide to empower and enable those in the community.

We also heard from the Mental Health Champion for Northern Ireland, Siobhán O'Neill, who emphasised that: "We need to create lives worth living. The action must continue and we need full funding for all mental health strategies, with well-resourced staff."

The South Eastern Trust is the first of the health trusts throughout Northern Ireland to roll out Towards Zero Suicide. They will work in close partnership with the other health trusts to deliver safe, effective care for those in need and those at risk of suicide.

On this World Suicide Prevention Day we encourage you to please seek help if you need it, and we would like to remind you that the You Matter programme, designed to help prevent deaths by suicide among Veterans, is now open for referrals, and for individuals to reach out.

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