Connecting for Life Wexford is the new suicide prevention and self-harm plan for County Wexford. It was developed by the HSE in co-operation with other organisations and is in line with national strategy. Connecting for Life Wexford follows on from the country’s first such county wide plan, launched in 2004 under the Wexford County Development Board.
You can download the Connecting for Life Wexford action plan here.
Connecting for Life Wexford is the result of a comprehensive process of consultation and engagement, involving the people of County Wexford and those who provide services to them, to develop a clear roadmap to address suicide and self-harm in the county over the next five years.
Kathleen Lynch, Minister for Mental Health, Social Care and Primary Care launched Connecting for Life Wexford on January 14th 2016. Speaking at the launch, Minister Lynch said:
"Our national strategy, also entitled Connecting for Life, sets out a vision of an Ireland where fewer lives are lost through suicide. We have an ambitious strategy, which sets a target to reduce suicide and self-harm by 10% over the next five years. Suicide prevention is everyone's concern. I'm pleased that Co. Wexford has been to the forefront over the last decade in getting agencies and communities to work together. There is a lot more awareness of resources in suicide prevention in Co. Wexford since its initial plan was launched in 2004. Rates of suicide in the county have reduced in the time since and I'm pleased that there was the resolve to compile and adopt a new plan.
Looking after our mental health is a cornerstone of improving the health of our people. It is as important as physical health. Throughout the health services, here in Co. Wexford and the South East being a very good example, we have been putting the structures in place to try to ensure that people get the right type of mental health treatment in the right place and above all at the right time. We have also developed services in primary care - such as here in Wexford Town - for those who have needs, and we are continuing to develop care for those who are acutely unwell. It's all connected and it all counts."
Gerry Raleigh, Director of the HSE Mental Health Division's National Office of Suicide Prevention (NOSP) said:
“As part of the national suicide strategy, we need to connect with ourselves, our families, our communities and the services that are on offer. Connecting for Life Wexford has been led by the HSE but developed in partnership with a multi-agency planning group. The result is a new plan, which details the actions that various organisations - including the HSE - will implement over the next five years to realise the vision of a county where fewer lives are lost through suicide and where the communities and individuals are empowered to improve their mental health and wellbeing. Each action will have an annual target to ensure that progress is developmental and ongoing.
The development of Connecting for Life Wexford, included an extensive public consultation that started in October 2014, with approximately 1,000 people contributing their ideas including young people, professionals and disadvantaged groups such as the unemployed, travellers, mental health service users, people with substance misuse difficulties and people from migrant communities. All suggestions were reviewed, taking account of relevant evidence and the goals, objectives and actions from the national strategy to develop this county action plan."