6 Feb 2006

“SUICIDE hasn’t got time to spare” was one of the key messages from young people delivered to Health Minister Shaun Woodward by the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Nigel Williams, yesterday at Hillsborough Castle.

The Commissioner’s office recently offered children and young people a unique opportunity to tell the Minister for Health, Personal Social Services and Public Safety how services could be improved to help reduce the tragic toll of suicide and self-harm on young lives.

On Sunday members of the Commissioner’s Youth Panel formally delivered the Messages to the Minister at Hillsborough Castle.

Teresa Devlin, Head of Research and Service Review at NICCY, accompanied the youth panel members.

“We received 112 messages to the minister,” she said. “All of them spoke powerfully and passionately about what could be done, what needed to be done, and how suicide and self-harm affects the lives of children and young people across Northern Ireland."

“One told of us of the urgency in addressing child and adolescent mental health services through the simple message that ‘suicide doesn’t have time to spare’ and we at NICCY now hope that the Minister and the Suicide Taskforce listens to these messages.”

Ms Devlin was accompanied by Finn Toner from the NICCY Youth Panel, as well as Jenna McAuley whose artwork was featured in an exhibition at the NICCY offices recently.

Notes for Editors

  • You can view a Summary Report of the Message to the Minister here
  • The NICCY media release which launched 'Message to the Minister' visit can be viewed here
  • The Minister's statement in September can be viewed here 
  • You can more information on the work of the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People at this web site