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Derry suicide prevention service granted 3-month reprieve

Holywell Trust

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Brian Tierney has welcomed news today that the Minister for Health Robin Swann has confirmed funding to allow Derry’s Crisis Intervention Centre to continue beyond June.

Mayor Tierney met with Minister Swann today during a Ministerial visit to the city where the Minister confirmed that £33,000 would be made available by his department to fund the service for a three-month period.

Last week the Mayor wrote to the Minister urging him to support the service and provide monies to allow the service to continue.

Speaking following today’s meeting, Mayor Tierney said he welcomed the Minister’s prompt response to his correspondence.

He said the money provided by the Minister will allow for the temporary continuation of the service.

“The Community Crisis Intervention Service is an essential service for the people of the Derry and Strabane area and it is vitally important that the work that they do is acknowledged and recognised. Now more than ever as we begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative that services to support those with mental health are maintained and enhanced. I welcome Minister Swann’s response to the calls of this Council for his department to provide the funding necessary for the service to continue.

“This service has been essential in reducing the incidence of self-harm and suicide and ultimately resulting in wide ranging societal benefits for the local community. It has provided support to individuals of all ages who needed comfort and support, with a strong emphasis placed on de-escalation and stabilisation, as well as family support and onward referral to statutory services where appropriate.

“The service provider has done an excellent job in delivering this essential community service and I am delighted that the Minister has stepped in to provide the funding necessary for it to continue. While this is a temporary funding arrangement it is very much welcomed and I look forward to working with the Minister, other agencies to look at long term funding arrangements for this essential service moving forward.”

Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy said 'permanent funding' is needed.

Councillor Duffy commented: “Finally some good news in relation to the Community Crisis Intervention Service in Derry. The Health Minister after ongoing pressure, has announced that he will allocate £32,000 to keep the service operational for another few months.

“We are all aware of the statistics on mental health here in this city and region, and it is due to this that the Community Crisis Intervention Service was set up and piloted here. It came about as a collective effort.

“The CCIS was developed in conjunction with the Western Trust, Health and Social Care Board, Ulster University, Foyle Search and Rescue and the Council to provide a low threshold responsive service, addressing issues of crisis, self-harm, suicidal ideation and substance misuse, using de-escalation techniques, with support and trained counsellors on hand to ensure the person receives the appropriate help that they need.

“Today’s announcement on funding now gives us the space to add  further pressure on the campaign and the Department for Health to fully fund this vital service on a permanent basis."

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