Bradshaw welcomes funds for tackling suicide

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has welcomed the allocation of £500,000 to tackling and preventing suicide in Belfast, but cautioned decisive action can only be taken with Ministers in place.

The South Belfast MLA was speaking after the announcement by the Public Health Agency. The money will be invested directly through community and voluntary groups in the city on suicide prevention and mental health services.

“It is good news the Public Health Agency is prioritising work which will be properly targeted to help prevent suicides. We should be clear there is much can be done by administrators even during the current uncertainty to ensure this issue is properly prioritised and resources go to the right places,” she said.

“But this is yet another example where full interventions are not happening because of the lack of Ministers, and people are suffering as a result. Ministers in place would mean the issue would receive the full scrutiny required and every tool potentially up to and including legislation would be available to deliver on suicide prevention and mental wellbeing more broadly.

“Ministers in place could also do more to help tackle the sense of hopelessness which pervades in many communities. I have spoken to many young people this week who simply cannot comprehend why the bigger parties won’t get on with the job on their behalf.

“It is long past time parties stopped dancing on the head of a pin and started prioritising the key issues where interventions can be a matter of life or death.”

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