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Ombudsman for Children welcomes Suicide Prevention Strategy

Emily Logan, the Ombudsman for Children, has welcomed the Suicide Prevention Strategy, published today and in particular the new National Office for Suicide Prevention, to be set up immediately by the HSE.

Emily said:

“I will be contacting Geoff Day, who will lead the National Office for Suicide Prevention, shortly to offer any assistance we can to promote positive mental health among young people. The Ombudsman for Children’s Office (OCO) provides an independent voice for children and young people and we have a mandate to highlight their concerns. We will be setting up structures to work with young people nationally and I believe that we could have a role in advancing positive mental health through these structures.

“Adolescence can be a very difficult time for young people, and unfortunately sometimes they turn to self-harm or suicide as a solution to their problems.

I have met with a number of organisations who have highlighted suicide and self-harm as a very serious problem for young people, especially young boys who are often marginalised and find it difficult to express how they feel. Many of these organisations are already doing a huge amount of work to emotionally support their members and to highlight their voices.

“I have also spoken to Nigel Williams, the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, about mental health. We both have serious concerns about the provision of child and adolescent mental health services.

“However, the launch of the Suicide Prevention Strategy is a very welcome step and I look forward to being able to offer the assistance of my Office to promote positive mental health among children and young people.”