Council Marks 150th Anniversary of Downshire Complex on World Mental Health Day
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council marked the 150th anniversary of the Downshire Complex on World Mental Health Day, Thursday 10 October, with an event on the theme of suicide and suicide prevention.
To highlight the important issue of suicide and suicide prevention, the Council, in conjunction with the Downpatrick District Electoral Area (DEA) Forum, Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) and the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust (SEH&SCT), organised a ‘coffee & connect’ morning in the Great Hall on the Downshire Complex.
Over 300 staff attended the event with local mental health/addiction service providers, including Life Change Changes Lives, Downpatrick Men’s Shed and Lifeline there to offer advice and information.
Deputy Chairman of the Council, Councillor Terry Andrews said, “Every year up to 800,000 people globally take their own life and there are many more who attempt suicide. Today is an excellent opportunity to recognise this vital topic and to raise an understanding of mental health.
“This year we wanted to specifically address the stigma around suicide to support those who might most need help. For many people, work and the relationships they have with their colleagues are a significant part of their lives and it is therefore important that staff know they can reach out. Where better to do this than at a location which is known for having provided mental health services from 1869?”
The Downshire Complex was originally called the Down Asylum when it opened, and it continued as the Down Mental Hospital from the 1920s until becoming part of the National Health Service in 1948 as the Down Hospital. The Downshire Complex is now the main central Government Administration Centre for the Down area, encompassing the PSNI; Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS); NIHE and the Southeastern Health and Social Care Trust (SEH&SCT).Back