Help is at hand for those feeling distressed or suicidal

The Public Health Agency (PHA) used World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10) to highlight the help and support available to people who are feeling in distress or despair.

The theme for this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day was ‘Suicide Prevention: One World Connected.’ The theme reflects the importance of connections at several levels in tackling suicide. Madeline Heaney, Regional Lead for Mental Health Promotion with the PHA, said: “We all have times in our lives when we feel that we can’t cope. You might think that things won’t get better and that no one else has ever experienced what you are going through. If you’re feeling like this, you should know that you are not alone. The reality is that for many people this feeling will not last. You will feel better and time can bring a different perspective.

“Talking to a friend, family member or someone you know you can trust can really help. You may also want to talk to your GP, and there are services that offer help and advice.”

The PHA is committed to improving mental health and wellbeing and reducing levels of suicide in Northern Ireland, and funds a number of organisations which provide mental and emotional wellbeing and suicide prevention services across Northern Ireland both at a regional and local level.

By taking a multi-stranded approach to tackling mental health issues and suicide, the agency aims to provide a more connected network of support which will enable people to reach out and seek help in a way which suits them.

More information on looking after your mental health and the support which is available across Northern Ireland can be found at www.mindingyourhead.info

You can also talk to your GP for advice.

If you or someone you know is in distress or despair, call Lifeline on 0808 808 8000. This is a confidential service, where trained counsellors will listen and help immediately on the phone and follow up with other support if necessary. The helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also access the Lifeline website at www.lifelinehelpline.info