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Suicide numbers require a response

Last year, suicide claimed 313 lives in Northern Ireland. Studies reveal health and social care services have involvement with less than half the people who take their own lives each year.

This reveals two major problems for which we need a total community response: firstly, we need excellent service co-ordination at times of crisis; secondly, we need increased community confidence about how to refer friends and loved-ones to confidential crisis services, such as Lifeline.

Lifeline is the regional 24/7 crisis-response helpline service, funded by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS).

Our urgent priority is to help Belfast Telegraph readers understand that just one call to Lifeline - 0808 808 8000 - can provide help at times of crisis and despair.

You can be confident Lifeline is there when you need help.

FERGUS CUMISKEY and NORMA PATTERSON

Directors, Lifeline

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