Minister Swann with Interim Mental Health Champion for Northern Ireland, Professor Siobhan O'Neill.
Health Minister Robin Swann has allocated £60,000 of extra funding to allow Derry's Community Crisis Intervention Centre to continue to operate into next year.
Announcing the move on World Suicide Prevention Day, Minister Swann said the move should give reassurance to the local community.
"I have already made it clear that suicide prevention, mental well-being and mental health services are a top priority for me as Minister," he said.
"That is why to further support the excellent work being undertaken by Derry Crisis Intervention Service I am allocating a further £60k to Derry and Strabane District Council to allow the service to continue until the end of March 2020/21.
"This is important to provide stability for the service and reassurance for the local community given the far reaching impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic.”
Extern, who operate the centre on behalf of the council, have welcomed the move, with CCIS Manager Joe Thompson describing the funding as 'vital'.
"We are delighted that the Health Minister has recognised the excellent work of the Community Crisis Intervention Service and very much welcome his announcement around this vital funding," he said.
"CCIS has become an impactful and important means of helping reduce suicidal behaviour and deaths by suicide in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area.
"Since it began operating over each weekend last year, it has now delivered over 475 time critical and immediate interventions to people in crisis.
"Extern applauds the work being undertaken by the Department to progress the Protect Life 2 Strategy across Northern Ireland, and together with the Council, and the CCIS steering group, we will continue to ensure that we are there for people when they need us most.”
Foyle MLA Sinéad McLaughlin has also welcomed the announcement, but said longer-term financial support was needed.
"I very much welcome the funds to keep the service running for the moment," said the SDLP representative.
"However, long-term financial support is needed. Short term ad hoc funding is not a sustainable way for a vital service to operate. The service needs an early commitment to ongoing financial support."
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