Northern Ireland

Response team needed to curb suicide rate among young

An emergency response team is needed to curb the high rates of suicides among young people in west Belfast, a community worker has claimed.

Annie Armstrong was speaking just before a crisis meeting of community groups, doctors and youth workers meeting was due to take place.

The meeting had been called following the suicide of a third young person in the past week in the area.

On Monday promising amateur boxer Liam McGuinness, 19, took his own life.

Ms Armstrong, chair of the Colin Neighbourhood Partnership, said the suicides had come in "clusters" with eight deaths since March.

"People are at their wits end as to what we can do about this," she said.

"We need to be talking about life instead of death.

"We need to remind people they have their whole life in front of them."

Ms Armstrong said a book offering advice on the subject had been delivered to 9,000 homes in the area and copies left in doctors' surgeries.

"It has been put the internet and can be downloaded at www.newcolin.com," she said.

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