Thursday, 3 February 2011

Cuts – A Life or Death Issue

Anne Thompson
SIPTU, Belfast

The three young lives lost to Suicide in the past week has brought the heartbreakingly tragic issue of Suicide back into the public domain.

Three more young lives lost to this national epidemic, responsible for the biggest number of deaths of our youth.

When someone takes their own life, it leaves a huge scar on families, friends, and the community, and this is made even more acute when it is a young person.

The community and voluntary workers who are on the coalface of dealing with the issue of Suicide Prevention are doing some of the most crucial work in society, and have been responsible for saving and re-building so many lives. You cannot put a price on their invaluable contribution and work.

If the funding to these community and suicide prevention groups is cut, lives will literally be lost.

That is why it is so vitally important that communities need to be defended from any cuts that may arise from the Tory led assault on the Assembly budget.

These community projects, the workers and volunteers who sustain them need to be supported, not hampered with the key work they are doing.

Not only are community projects extremely good value for money, with every £1 pumped in generating between £4 and £12 in return, but also because at times like this it can literally mean the difference between life and death.

SIPTU calls on all stakeholders, from elected activists to community activists, and all people who live in the community and avail of these services to stand up for their community and ensure that they receive the necessary funding to keep up their excellent and invaluable contribution to all of us.

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