New specialist service for Northern Irish children at risk of suicide

This project with PIPS Suicide Prevention Ireland is a new specialist service for children at risk of suicide in Northern Ireland. The aim of the project is to help children who self-harm, are suffering from suicidal ideation, anxiety or depression to cope with emotional distress and learn self-care strategies.

There are many challenges regarding the mental health and wellbeing of the local population, not least that Northern Ireland is a post conflict society. People in Northern Ireland experience 20-25% higher levels of mental health illness compared to the rest of the UK and it also has the highest rate of suicide in the UK. Despite seeing increasing numbers of children, PIPS does not currently provide a specialist service for children. This programme will help children at risk of suicide develop coping mechanisms and offer a safe space to support their mental wellbeing, emotional and behavioural issues on a walk in or referral basis. Activities will be provided through a 12-week programme of talking therapies, art therapy and complimentary therapies which are child centred and ultimately aimed at preventing the loss of young people’s lives.