Judith Cochrane MLA said: “Groups such as PIPS do outstanding work in providing support and a place for distressed individuals to contact. All of those involved in suicide prevention and encouraging mental health well-being are doing a great service for our community.
“I hope that the highlighting of middle aged men as a high risk group by this Samaritans report will encourage men from this demographic who are having an emotional crisis to seek help.
“For too long suicide has been a taboo subject. With the work of groups like PIPS and the Samaritans, we can encourage people to talk about this issue and ensure that more people who are feeling distressed have the ability to seek help as early as possible.
“There is still much work to be done to reduce the number of suicides, however I know that the Department of Health is giving it the priority it deserves and is working closely with groups such as PIPS.”