Belfast Telegraph

£500k boost for suicide prevention and mental health services in Belfast

Suicide prevention and mental health services in Belfast are set to benefit from £500,000 in additional funding.

The money is being provide by the Public Health Agency (PHA) - the regional organisation responsible for improving health and social wellbeing - and £300,000 of it will be invested directly through community and voluntary groups in the city.

Seamus Mullen, the PHA’s Head of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement in the Belfast and South Eastern area, said the additional funding would go on meeting demands in all areas of the city.

"However particular focus has been placed on disadvantaged areas where the risk of suicide is three times higher," he said.

"These services will provide vital opportunities for individuals who are in social or emotional crisis to help them access support to de-escalate from that crisis, and help reduce the need to attend a hospital emergency department.

"The services will focus on provision of support out of hours, particularly at weekends, and bring in expertise from various professionals, including from the community and voluntary sectors, community psychiatric nursing, psychiatry, paramedics, and policing colleagues.

“Additional funding has been secured from Belfast City Council’s Policing and Community Safety Partnership, the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service."

Services which will provided by the additional cash include:

  • Counselling/ psychological therapy sessions
  • Complementary therapy
  • Mental health/ suicide prevention training
  • Direct support to people bereaved by suicide
  • Support for people presenting in crisis

Of the £500,000, £200,000 will be used to provide a pilot crisis de-escalation and street triage services.

A spokesperson from PHA said announcements about additional funding in other regions of Northern Ireland would be made in due course.

A full list of the organisations which will benefit from the additional funding can be viewed on the PHA website.

If you, or anyone close to you, is affected by any issues in this article, please contact the Samaritans free on 116123 or Lifeline on 080 8808 8000.

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