Thursday 17 August 2017 10:53:01 AM

Clarke Calls For Protection To Funding For Suicide Groups
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SOUTH Down Sinn Féin Assembly Member Willie Clarke has strongly condemned the threat by the Minister of Health Michael McGimpsey, MLA, to cut funding for suicide prevention groups.

Councillor Clarke said,  “Suicide support groups save countless lives and the work they do here in south Down and across the North if Ireland is absolutely vital. Any cut to their funding will lead to an increase in suicides and Sinn Féin will resist any attempt to cut the limited funding they receive.

“Sinn Féin has continually stressed the need for resources to be extended to support groups as organizations such as PIPS are funded primarily by voluntary contributions. They play a central role in working with those who are at risk while also filling a gap that is left by Health Agencies. By working closely with families who have been affected by this issue they provide essential support in the worst possible circumstances.

“To remove the funding for these groups is a grave error and it must not happen. Minister McGimpsey must provide clarity on this issue and commit his department to continue the funding of these very important organisations,” he added.