News : Derry Discussion Over Suicide Helpline
Derry, Northern Ireland, Aug 31, 2015 -- An event will be held in Derry later this year to discuss the future of a service which aims to help people who are suicidal.
The Public Health Agency (PHA) has launched the three month public consultation to determine what will happen to the Lifeline crisis response service.
A workshop will be held in Derry, on Friday, October 16, from 10am in the boardroom at Gransha Park House.
Currently, Lifeline is a free-to-call regional confidential telephone helpline for people in emotional crisis vulnerable to self-harm or suicide.
Lifeline is available for those in need 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year and was commissioned in 2012 by the PHA in an effort to address suicide under the Protect Life suicide prevention strategy.
Lifeline aims to calm down callers at risk of self-harm or suicide, provide an immediate response proportionate to the caller’s assessed risk and deliver short-term rapid response community counselling.
The current Lifeline contract was due to end on March 31 this year, but was extended until December 31, 2015, with the potential of a further extension until September 30, 2016.
The PHA wishes to consult with the public and relevant stakeholders and has already undertaken a Lifeline pre-consultation public engagement, the findings of which have assisted the agency in identifying the most effective and efficient model to obtain the best outcomes for taking the service forward.
The new public consultation paper provides a description of the proposed new Lifeline crisis service model and the rationale behind the proposal.
Brendan Bonner, the PHA lead on the Lifeline service, said: "The Public Health Agency is keen to engage with the public and relevant stakeholders to ensure that the future Lifeline service specification is appropriately informed and the future services are fit for purpose.
"This is an essential service and forms an important element of our work with many partners to reduce the risk of suicide in our community.
"We would encourage those who have an interest to submit a response to the public consultation."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, September 2, 2015