Suicide service 'offers hope'

Published Sunday, 18 November 2012
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A special inter-denominational service was held in west Belfast on Sunday for those bereaved or affected by suicide.

The Mass of Hope, which has been held every year since 2001, was hosted in Clonard Monastery and attended by hundreds of people.

An average of 300 people take their own lives every year in Northern Ireland.

It is a growing problem that healthcare professionals are struggling to get on top off with the number of deaths doubling over the last decade.

The special annual service at Clonard brings together people who have been affected by suicide to show that there is support available to them.

Organiser Jean Carson, of the Suicide Awareness and Support Group, told UTV that she wanted to send out a message of hope for families struggling to come to terms with their loss.

"Well we think it's important for the bereaved families to know they are not alone. Far too often I meet families that think they are going through this on their own," she explained.

Many people who have lost loved ones through suicide say it's an important day for them.

Marie Rooney's sister died by suicide. She told UTV that support is necessary because many people don't know how to deal with the sudden grief suicide brings.

"For the community to come together and especially the Mass for Hope, people do feel that there is a support network for them to help them through the grief."

© UTV News
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