District Electoral Areas Organise ‘Walk for Life’ to Mark Suicide Prevention Day
Rowallane and Slieve Croob District Electoral Area (DEA) Forums, in partnership with County Down Rural Community Network (CDRCN), have organised ‘Walk for Life’ to highlight World Suicide Prevention Day which is on 10 September 2019. The ‘Walk for Life’ initiative is designed to reach out to people who are going through a difficult time by offering information and signposting from suicide/mental health organisations.
The walks also commemorate those lost to suicide and raise awareness of the ongoing mental health crisis as well as promoting the mental health benefits of physical activity.
Between 2000 and 2017, Northern Ireland registered a total of 4,476 deaths from suicide. In 2017, the number of registered deaths from suicide was 305, a trend which is higher than in England, Scotland or Wales, where suicide rates are falling.
Thoughts of suicide or suicidal behaviour may be triggered by a single event or a series of events over time and there are a number of risk factors to be aware of, including self-harm and mental illness.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Charlie Casey said, “Suicide is a tragedy and we must do all in our power to help people overcome the issues that can lead to it. With the increase in suicides it is important that we offer support and signpost services to help people through difficult times.
“These Walks for Life are a great initiative that highlight World Suicide Prevention Day and give families and individuals a chance to improve their mental and physical health and wellbeing while enjoying a fun outdoor activity.”
The Rowallane DEA walk will take place on Saturday 7 September 2019 in Ballynahinch Lough Park (behind the Ballynahinch Centre) from 1pm to 3pm. The programme includes a family walk, information stands from suicide support organisations followed by a fun day with face painting, balloon modelling, arts and crafts and refreshments.
The Slieve Croob DEA event will take place on Saturday 14 September 2018 from 1pm to 3pm, starting at the Seaforde Estate gateway entrance, opposite the Church of Ireland. The event will conclude at the Butterfly House with refreshments, suicide support organisations, children’s activities and free admission to the Butterfly House. Free parking will be available at the Seaforde Young Farmers Hall.