Special suicide memorial bench is unveiled in poignant riverbank ceremony at Tassagh

A SPECIAL bench has been unveiled on the banks of the River Callan to commemorate all those who have taken their own lives.

A poignant and reflective ceremony was held at Tassagh to mark ‘World Suicide Prevention Day’, when the bench - made by members of the Newtownhamilton Men’s Shed – was dedicated to the memory of all those who had died.

Sinn Féin Councillor Bróna Haughey spoke at the event and told of the terrible impact of suicide on families who had lost loved ones.

“One person a day died by suicide in Ireland last year,” she said. “Globally, one person takes their own life every 40 seconds.

“Suicide has a devastating effect on any community, especially one as small and close-knit as Tassagh and the wider Armagh region.

“It is vital that we all join together to stop suicide. It is only through collaborative work that we can better communicate and raise awareness to avert a suicide attempt.

“What we need to remember is that anyone can have suicidal thoughts. Talking about suicide doesn’t cause people to kill themselves, but not talking about it might.”

Councillor Haughey extened the thanks of all involved to Patsy Nugent, in whose scenic riverside gardens along the Callan the seat is placed, and his colleagues in the Newtownhamilton Men’s Shed for their input into the memorial.

Newry and Armagh MLA Cathal Boylan also attended the event, commenting on the publication of the Protection Life 2 Suicide Prevention Strategy.

He said: “The publication of the Protect Life 2 strategy is a positive step. Suicide has a devastating impact on families and communities. 

“The Health Trusts are working towards a zero suicide approach and the rolling out of street triage and crisis de-escalation programmes.

“The focus should now be on the full implementation of the strategy and the delivery of services in partnership with communities and support organisations.”

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