From January 2013 a number of organisations in East Belfast have come together to develop an East Belfast Community Response Plan to Suicide. These groups have been working with the aim of supporting families and communities affected by suicide in East Belfast. Much of the work done under the Community Response Plan focuses on supporting those bereaved, however the group have also started to get involved in raising awareness of suicide prevention services. Over the past few months they have held awareness days at Connswater Shopping Centre and ASDA Dundonald.
On Friday 21st February they took their suicide prevention message to the Oval for Glentoran’s league match with Linfield. Staff and volunteers from several organisations involved in the Community Response Plan took part including; East Belfast Community Development Agency (EBCDA), Inner East Youth Project, Walkway Community Association and Street by Street. Information leaflets were handed out to match goers before kick-off containing information on looking after your emotional health and contact details of services who can support people in East Belfast.
Clare James, Suicide Prevention Development Officer, with East Belfast Community Development Agency explained the thinking behind the event; “Many people wouldn’t know where to turn if they were struggling to cope of having thoughts of suicide but there are several organisations who can help. By providing information leaflets and talking to members of the public we hope to raise awareness of the support that is available. We are also hopeful that it will help to break down the stigma associated with asking for help for mental health and emotional health issues. The more conversations we can start about mental health and suicide prevention the better and having the support of Glentoran to raise awareness at their match allows us to target a wide range of people from the local area.”
Glentoran Director, John Moore said, “Glentoran have been part of the community of East Belfast for well over a century and are aware that there are many issues affecting the lives of local people. Glentoran Football Club are delighted to assist the East Belfast Community Development Agency with this project and will support them in the future where possible.”
Services which can support people at risk of suicide include:
Lifeline: 24/7 phone support for those in crisis on 0808 808 8000
FASA: Crisis support services available Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm and Saturday from 10am to 5pm at 178-180 Shankill Road, Belfast, BT13 2BH plus phone support on 028 9080 3040
Lighthouse: Crisis support services available Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5.30pm at 187 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast, BT15 2GF plus phone support on 028 9075 5070
PIPS: Crisis support services available Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9.00am to 9.00pm, Tuesday and Thursday 9.00am to 5pm and Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 6pm at 279 – 281 Antrim Road, Belfast, BT15 2HE or by phone 0800 088 6042
Suicide Awareness and Support Group: Crisis support services available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, 209 Falls Road, Belfast, BT12 6FB plus phone support on 028 9023 9967
New life Counselling: Counselling and therapeutic services for children, young people, adults and families. Counselling available at Skainos Centre on the Newtownards Road, telephone 028 9074 6184 for more information.
East Belfast Community Counselling: Counselling for adults and youth plus support groups at East Belfast Network Centre, 55 Templemore Avenue, Belfast, BT5 4FP, telephone 028 9046 0489
For more support services and tips to look after your mental health see www.mindingyourhead.info and for more information about the Community Response Plan for East Belfast please contact Clare James, Suicide Prevention Development Officer at EBCDA on 028 9045 1512.