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Forum mental health and suicide prevention services taken on by Extern charity

Published 11/04/2016

Mental health and suicide prevention services in Northern Ireland which were threatened by financial difficulties are being taken over by the charity Extern
Mental health and suicide prevention services in Northern Ireland which were threatened by financial difficulties are being taken over by the charity Extern

The charity Extern is to take over mental health and suicide prevention services in Northern Ireland which were threatened by financial difficulties recently.

The Forum for Action on Substance Abuse (Fasa) suspended the operations amid serious pressure on its budget.

A Public Health Agency (PHA) statement said contracts between the agency and Fasa had transferred to Extern.

It said: "No changes have been made to the contracts and therefore adults in need of mental health or drug and alcohol support, or young people in need of information, advice and support, will still be able to access and receive the same services as before.

"The agency acknowledges the hard work which has been undertaken in recent weeks by a wide range of stakeholders, including both Fasa and Extern, to ensure that PHA-commissioned services have continued to be provided, and welcomes this move to put their future provision on a firm footing."

The contracts cover services including:

:: Mental health and suicide prevention;

:: Drugs and alcohol;

:: Youth issues affecting people aged from 11 to 25.

Before suspending its services, Fasa said it helped more than 2,000 people facing suicide, self-harm, substance abuse and mental health issues in Northern Ireland.

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