Dublin North City and County
New phase of Connecting for Life launched
The Connecting for Life Dublin North City and County - Implementation Plan 2022 to 2024 has been launched in St Mary’s Hospital. The launch event saw HSE staff gather with representatives of the many stakeholder groups who helped make the initial phase of Connecting for Life a success. The extension of this local Suicide Prevention Action Plan is strongly aligned to the national Connecting for Life strategy, and is rooted in the principle of learning from previous experience of implementing the first cycle of Connecting for Life Dublin North City and County 2018–2020.
Speaking at the launch, Angela Walsh, Head of Service for Mental Health highlighted the progress that was made during the last Connecting for Life cycle “Over the past four years significant progress across all of the seven goals has been achieved through Connecting for Life Dublin North City and County 2018–2020, with particular accomplishments in relation to stigma reduction, selfharm, public health communications, training delivery and early intervention services, amongst other strategic areas
Minister for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly TD opened a HSE led conference at Croke Park on Thursday 23rd January to mark the mid-way point of the "Connecting for Life Dublin North City and County Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2018 - 2020".
The aim of the conference was to acknowledge interagency collaborative working throughout Dublin North City & County between statutory and community support services with the objective of reducing suicide and self-harm. The event was also designed to give health and community services an opportunity to review their commitment to the work to reduce suicide in Dublin North City and County for the next year and beyond.
Speaking at the event Minister Daly said: “Suicide is a national issue; we need the entire community involved. The community and statutory services exhibition here today demonstrates the breadth of supports available in Dublin North City & County and the willingness of our people to support those in distress and the vital connectedness and collaborative work necessary to achieve this shared agenda in the reduction of suicides. I understand that HSE Mental Health Services, through the Resource Officers for Suicide Prevention are proactive across North Dublin in leading out on suicide prevention, intervention and postvention.”
Pictured at the Connecting Our Communities Conference, (L-R) Sandra Taylor, Regional Suicide Prevention Officer, Dublin North City and County; Keynote Speaker Professor Ella Arensman; Minister for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly TD; and Angela Walsh, Head of Service for Mental Health in Dublin North City and County.
Also in attendance was HSE CEO Paul Reid who said:
“Communities and local structures play a critical role in suicide prevention. The supports that can be given to vulnerable individuals from the communities, such as social support, follow up care, tackling stigma and supporting those bereaved by suicide, can make a crucial difference to a person in distress. This plan, tailored to Dublin North City & County’s specific needs, is a welcome addition to helping us care for our Community effectively.”
Pictured addressing the Connecting Our Communities Conference, Paul Reid, HSE CEO.
Keynote Speaker Professor Ella Arensman added: “In communities across Ireland, suicide generates feelings of grief, apprehension and concern. For every Irish person who dies by suicide, many others attempt to end their lives, and many more suffer the despair that leads them to consider suicide. Historically, as a nation we have struggled to talk openly about suicide and how it impacts on us. However, our national conversation is growing and we are becoming better at discussing and addressing issues relating to our mental health and more pro-active towards preventing suicide and self-harm. It is essential that we maintain the momentum.”
Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly launched Connecting for Life Dublin North City and County on Thursday 17th May 2018. The launch took place in St Lawrence’s Church, DIT Grangegorman, Dublin and was attended by a large number of those involved in the drafting of the plan, including community and voluntary groups from across Dublin North City & County. Connecting for Life Dublin North City and County, is the new local Suicide Prevention Action Plan. It is strongly aligned to the national Connecting for Life Strategy, articulating local implementation of national actions, and committing to actions that respond to our particular local needs, strengths and challenges in Dublin North City & County.
Connecting for Life, Ireland’s National Strategy to Reduce Suicide 2015 – 2020 sets out a vision of an Ireland where fewer lives are lost through suicide, and where communities and individuals are empowered to improve their mental health and wellbeing. This involves preventative and awareness-raising work with a “whole of society” approach, including supportive work with local communities and targeted approaches for priority groups.
Mary Walshe, Chief Officer (CHO Dublin North City and County) said "In communities across Dublin North City & County, the far-reaching effects of suicide on families, friends, classmates and workplaces are severe and devastating. Suicide is one of the most complex and difficult to understand of human behaviours." She added "By bringing together all aspects of our health and social care system alongside our education, justice and community partners, we are working together to implement meaningful, evidence informed improvements to the approaches and services that we offer to people at risk of suicide and self-harm. Connected services mean that more people can get the right help, at the right time and in the right place."
Angela Walsh, Head of Service for Mental Health (CHO Dublin North City and County) said ‘"In developing Connecting for Life Dublin North City and County, we have listened to the experiences of the local community, learned from the knowledge of local front line workers, and brought the combined expertise of local service providers together. This source of rich information has helped us to formulate ambitious yet achievable actions to continue our work with local communities to address the impact of suicide."
John Meehan, HSE Assistant National Director with responsibility for Mental Health Strategy and Planning and the National Office for Suicide Prevention said "Local implementation, that includes empowering communities, is a core component of the Connecting for Life strategy. We need to connect with ourselves, our families, our communities and the services on offer. Connecting for Life Dublin North City and County has been led by the HSE but developed in partnership with key local statutory and non-statutory groups. The result is a new plan, which sets out the steps many different organisations, including the HSE, will take to realise the vision of a region where fewer lives are lost through suicide."
While the development of the plan was led by HSE Mental Health Services, it will be implemented by the entire community. Minister Jim Daly said, "I am delighted to launch Connecting for Life Dublin North City and County. This plan recognises the critical role that communities and local structures play in suicide prevention, and reinforces and supports this role. The supports that can be given to vulnerable individuals from the community, such as social support, follow-up care, tackling stigma and supporting those bereaved by suicide, can make a crucial difference to a person in distress. This plan, tailored to North Dublin’s specific needs, is a welcome addition to helping us care for our community effectively."
An extensive consultation process was undertaken to develop the Connecting for Life Dublin North City and County Plan. The consultation process proactively sought to capture the knowledge and experience of statutory, non-statutory and community stakeholders to inform the Suicide Prevention Action Plan. During October and November 2017, four online surveys were live for members of the public, service providers, GPs and Psychiatrists. 336 people completed the surveys, contributing over 3000 points of information and recommendations.
In addition fourteen focus groups were held with key stakeholders, which included priority groups and frontline staff. Relevant recently published consultations reports from across the HSE and other organisations were reviewed to provide corroborative information and identify additional issues. All the data from the consultation process was analysed using mixed qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Critical issues to emerge from the consultation include but are not limited to:
- The value of interagency working
- The barrier of long waiting lists
- The need to share information on referral criteria and care pathways
- Dual diagnosis challenges
- Emergency Department presentations
- Early prevention, in schools and with young people
- The value of community based support and the need for capacity building
The Connecting for Life Dublin North City and County Consultation Report is also available, here.
For further information please contact Sandra Taylor, Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This page was last updated on 24th January 2019.