Page last updated at 16:48 GMT, Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Suicide rate in Moyle district

Sinn Fein's Daithi McKay brought an adjournment debate on the suicide rate in Moyle district to the house, on 11 December 2012.

The North Antrim MLA said that service provisions in rural communities should be looked at and that voluntary programmes needed the full support of the Department of Health.

Mr McKay said that in rural communities there was a culture, especially among men, not to open up and talk about their problems.

Answering the debate, Health Minister Edwin Poots said the Department of health had invested £32m in suicide prevention over the last six years.

He said suicide was a highly complex matter, but significant inroads would only be made when social issues were tackled across Northern Ireland.

The minister said that while one suicide was one to many, in the period between 2009 and 2011, the rate of suicide in the Moyle area had fallen below the Northern Ireland average.

He said the Department of Health would continue to work with voluntary groups to ensure that skills were harnessed and to make sure the support they give would be meaningful.

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