Northern Ireland Assembly Flax Flower Logo


06 November 2007
PN: HSSPS 14/07


The Assembly Health Committee will visit Scotland later this week to study the Scottish Strategy on the prevention of suicide and self harm. The visit is part of the Health Committee Inquiry into suicide and self harm in Northern Ireland.

Chairperson of the Committee, Iris Robinson MP, said: “Just as in Northern Ireland the incidence of suicide and self harm in Scotland has been a major issue for many years and a cause of immense human suffering. Following the introduction of a national suicide and self harm strategy entitled Choose Life in Scotland in 2002, four years ahead of the strategy in Northern Ireland, the incidence of suicide in Scotland has started to decline and we want to see what lessons we can learn from that experience.

“During the visit we will meet the Minister for Public Health, Shona Robison MSP, and Government officials to discuss the strategy and hear about the outcome of a review carried out last year. We will also visit Ayrshire and Arran NHS Trust to see at first hand how the strategy is being implemented at a local level.”

During the visit the Committee will also hear about how suicide is being tackled in other countries from Dr Rory O’Connor, a chartered health psychologist at the University of Stirling and the UK representative on the International Association for Suicide Prevention.

Note to Editor:

The visit will take place from Wednesday 8 November to Friday 10 November.

The Terms of Reference for the Committee Inquiry are:

“The Committee will undertake an inquiry to examine the current strategic approach to the prevention of suicide and self harm. In particular the Committee will:

Committee Membership:

Mrs Iris Robinson MP (DUP) (Chairperson); Ms Michelle O’Neill (SF) (Deputy Chairperson); Mr Thomas Buchanan (DUP); Rev Dr Robert Coulter (UUP); Dr Kieran Deeny (IHC); Mr Alex Easton (DUP); Mr Tommy Gallagher (SDLP); Mrs Carmel Hanna (SDLP); Mr John McCallister (UUP); Ms Carál Ní Chuilín (SF); Ms Sue Ramsey (SF)

The Clerk to the Committee is Mr Hugh Farren, Room 412, Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast BT4 3XX.
Tel No: 028 90521360 Fax No: 028 90521667

Media enquiries should be directed to: Sinead Lee, Northern Ireland Assembly Information Office, Room B2, Parliament Buildings, Belfast BT4 3XX.
Tel No: 02890-521137/521396. Fax: 02890 521961.
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