Author Topic: Northern Ireland has the highest rate of suicide in the UK  (Read 4310 times)

James James

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James James

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Re: Northern Ireland has the highest rate of suicide in the UK
« Reply #61 on: March 03, 2019, 10:34:29 AM »
"2 MAR 2019"

A hand-stitched memorial to the thousands who have died by suicide since 1998 was draped across Belfast City Hall today.

More people have taken their own lives in peace time than were killed over three decades of the Troubles.

But Belfast artist Ro Owens fears suicide has reached such epidemic levels people have started to “feel it is normal”.

So, for the past six weeks the young performance artist invited those who have lost loved ones to sew their memories of them onto a tapestry with her.

The 24-year-old told Belfast Live: “It is a tally for people who have lost their lives. 4,500 people have died of suicide in 20 years, which is significantly higher than the amount of people who died during the Troubles.

“I wanted to make a piece of art in memory of the people who have lost their lives (to suicide) and decided to do a 45-day installation piece so people can come down and join in.

“There are over 4,900 stitches on it in total. There are a lot of different voices on there and a lot of individuality.”

Ro worked on the textile piece, now covered in patches and hand sewn designs, at Framewerk Gallery on the Newtownards Road for six weeks.

“It was just incredible - the amount of people that just walked in off the street and ask what you are doing and tell you their story,” she added.

“Suicide doesn’t discriminate. Mental health doesn’t discriminate and one in three people suffer here when it’s one in four in the rest of the UK.”

The finished piece was unveiled during a peaceful protest urging Westminster to do more to tackle the growing crisis in the absence of devolved government.

“It was brilliant, especially in such horrible weather,” said Ro. “It didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits.

“People who had been down to stitch were looking at their own patches and I had a mother and daughter down, who hadn’t been sewing but their son and brother had lost their lives to suicide a couple of years ago.

Their friends told them that they had been in to sew a wee bit for them and they said they felt like he was remembered.

“Not only were people down reciting poetry of their own experiences of mental heath, organisations were also there for anyone who was struggling.”

Ro added she was inspired to sew the piece after her own mental health struggle.

“I have suffered from depression twice,” she explained. “The first time I went to counselling I saw my doctor in February and didn’t start counselling until the end of May and I was in with severe depression and suicidal thoughts.

“It’s a long wait. I am very fortunate that I have a very good support system that caught me when I was falling, but not everyone is that lucky.”

After draping City Hall with her artwork, Ro hopes the conversation she started will continue as suicide is the biggest killer of young people in Northern Ireland.

“There are opportunities for it to go other places in Belfast if that’s what people want,” she added.

“I am happy for it to go anywhere and it can go with needles and threads so people can keep it going and keep the conversation around mental health going.”

If you are affected by any of the issues in this article, please call Samaritans free phone on 116 123 or text 07725 909090, or PIPS on free phone 0800 088 6042.

Our photographer caught the installation at Belfast City Hall...

"2 MAR 2019"

"Alan lewis - Photopress - Belfast 2/3/2019 Photograph by Justin Kernoghan Rally to prevent suicide protest at Belfast's City Hall today."

"More people have died through Suicide since the Good Friday Agreement than died in the entirety of the Troubles."

"More than 4,500 suicides have been registered in Northern Ireland in the 20 years between 1998 and 2018, whilst during the Troubles, between 1969 and 1997, it is estimated that 3,600 died."

"After 25 months of no functioning Government in Northern Ireland, we demand that Westminster acts quickly to deliver the agreed Mental Health Priorities."

"A range of initiatives already have cross party support, including a regional trauma service, to address the mental health legacy of the conflict."

"Our suffering percentage is higher than the rest of the UK and yet our funding is halved."

"Suicide is the biggest killer of young people in Northern Ireland."


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Re: Northern Ireland has the highest rate of suicide in the UK
« Reply #62 on: March 08, 2019, 09:03:37 AM »
it is awfull what makes people go there maybe depressed over some thing that has really hurt sad. :(

Billy Fish

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Re: Northern Ireland has the highest rate of suicide in the UK
« Reply #63 on: March 08, 2019, 08:12:11 PM »
Personally, I blame depression caused by the use of drugs for many suicides.
Support Soldier F


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Re: Northern Ireland has the highest rate of suicide in the UK
« Reply #64 on: March 09, 2019, 12:53:25 PM »

You have done a brilliant job with this thread, James James.

I respect you for it. We are not talking ten minutes of effort here. It is possible you have saved someone's life.

Thank you.