Belfast Telegraph

Churches in Northern Ireland launch shared initiative to tackle suicide

Churches from across Northern Ireland came together at Stormont yesterday to officially launch a new initiative which aims to prevent suicide.

'Flourish!' is a regional inter-church suicide prevention project which involves Lighthouse Ireland, the Churches' Community Work Alliance (NI), and the four main churches in Northern Ireland. Flourish! has been developed in partnership with the Public Health Agency (PHA).

Guidelines have been developed to help churches respond to those affected by suicide, and a recommended training pathway and website have been developed for clergy. Health Minister Edwin Poots said: "Frontline suicide prevention services remain vital, but to reduce suicide in the longer term, it will be necessary to improve the emotional resilience of high-risk people and groups before they become actively suicidal.

"This will require action on a wide range of fronts across government and across sectors including churches and faith groups. I welcome the development of the Flourish! initiative."

For further information on Flourish! visit www.wewillflourish.com

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

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