The last of a series of public meetings on Donegal’s suicide prevention strategy takes place tonight in Donegal town.
The meeting, at 6.45pm in the Donegal Family Resource Centre, Upper Main Street, has been organised by the HSE so that members of the public can have their say before the new strategy is drawn up.
A number of health, community and voluntary groups are also involved in the development of the action plan.
Anne Sheridan, Suicide Resource Officer for the HSE explained. “The National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) is currently working to develop a national suicide prevention framework on behalf of the Department of Health. This will build on prevention measures and reduce the risk factors for suicidal behaviour. We are working alongside the NOSP to prepare our own local action plan specifically for Donegal. There are a number of actions that will be coordinated at a national level which will support what we decide to do locally.
“We have a great team leading the project with members from all sectors of the county, including Bereavement Support groups, the Gardai, GPs, Coroners, Donegal County Council, and Donegal Youth Service, community, sports and arts organisations and various services within the HSE. This wide membership will ensure that the action plan will take account of the range of groups, organisations and services that can work together to prevent suicide.”
Maire O’Leary, HSE Social Inclusion Manager, who is involved in the local initiative, added: “We believe that suicide prevention is everyone’s business and we all need to be aware of what we can do individually and as part of our community to promote mental health and reduce suicide.
“Everyone is welcome to come along to the workshop tonight to find out more about the plan and to share their thoughts and ideas on what we need to consider.”
Information postcards have also been distributed to health centres, libraries, Family Resource Centres and council Public Service Centres and other locations, with two simple survey questions, and there is also an online survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/donegalsuicideprevention for anyone who hasn’t been able to make it to one of the meetings.
Your input could make the difference to your local community, family and friends.