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East Derry MLA elected Vice Chair on suicide prevention group

Cara Hunter said the issue was 'close to her heart'.

East Derry MLA elected Vice Chair on suicide prevention group

SDLP MLA Cara Hunter.

East Derry MLA Cara Hunter has been elected to the position of Vice Chair on the Assembly's All Party Group on Suicide Prevention.

The SDLP's Mental Health Spokesperson said the issue was a main driving factor in her getting involved in politics.

"I am delighted today to have been elected as Vice Chair of the All Party Group on Suicide Prevention," she said.

"There are few issues that transcend party politics and it is vital that MLAs from all parties work together to tackle our mental health crisis. I look forward to playing my part in that.

"There is a mental health and emotional wellbeing crisis happening in our community. No part of Northern Ireland is immune.

"Whether it manifests itself through despair, addiction, loneliness, self-harm or suicide, the signs are there that we have a deep rooted problem that needs to be addressed urgently.

"We can’t continue producing strategy after strategy. The scale of the problem we’re facing, which has been reflected in the harrowing pain that too many families have experienced over recent years, demands action now.

"I look forward to working with the Minister for Health and the Executive Mental Health Champion to help improve our appallingly high rates of suicide and improve outcomes," she added.

Earlier this month, Ms Hunter had also helped establish an Assembly All Party Group on issues around addiction and dual diagnosis.

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