As someone who lives outside Northern Ireland, I’m all too aware of how easy it is to be out of touch. I knew in general terms of the mental heath crisis that rages everywhere. But this statistic came as a powerful shock. Am I alone? Is this one of the many ills of society that’s more or less taken for granted?
“In the first 18 months without our devolved government, 463 people in Northern Ireland died by suicide.”
This is a higher rate of deaths for all but one year of the Troubles, 1972.
Northern Ireland spends less than half per capita supporting people suffering with mental health issues than in England.
Picking up all the extra burden cannot be left to charities alone.
If you or someone you know has been affected by these issues, call 24/7 crisis helpline and counselling service Lifeline 0808 808 8000. Calls are free from all landlines and mobiles.
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London
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