THE first meeting of a suicide support group will take place later this month following a Lisburn minister's appeal for more to be done to prevent young people taking their own life.
Last August the Star reported the concerns of the Rev Brian Anderson of Seymour Street Methodist Church that a 'suicide culture' was developing in the local community after his own church was involved in the funerals of three people in recent years.
He said he hoped to create a "platform for discussion" about the number of young people in the Greater Lisburn area who were turning to suicide as "a solution" to their many issues, and to "actually do something". Following on from the great response to his appeals a date has been set for the first get together.
Mr Anderson commented: "I am glad to say that there will be a meeting for anyone effected by suicide or who are interested in helping those impacted. It will take place in the at Lagan Island Centre on Monday November 23 at 7.30pm. The use of the room has been kindly granted by the Mayor, Councillor Allan Ewart, to whom I wish to express my sincere thanks."
Mr Anderson described the last few months as "a learning experience".
"Meeting with the parents of young people who have ended their life prematurely, being informed of the good work offered by voluntary sector agencies and impressed by the statutory groupings, who all have a real heart to help people in this most difficult area.
"Thanks also to the Ulster Star from their support," he said.
Mr Anderson added: "What will happen on Monday 23rd - to be honest I don't know. However my sense is that some sort of support network may be helpful to gather a number of groups together and see if we can raise Suicide awareness, offer help to our young people and support grieving parents.
"If you have contacted me before please accept my thanks and you are very much welcome to what I hope will be an informal but productive evening."