‘Petition addresses challenges of suicide prevention’ – Ritchie

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Thursday, September 20th, 2012
SDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has met with a group bringing a petition to the Houses of Parliament on the availability of suicide kits on the internet. Speaking to Newry Times, Ritchie stated, “I was happy to meet with the group including Patti Boyle who lives in London and has roots in South Down. Sadly Patti lost her son to suicide after he bought a suicide kit from the internet. The bravery and courage demonstrated by Patti in bringing this petition to Westminster is inspirational.” “In this modern age we must contend with a wave of cynical and disturbing internet sites which facilitate suicide by supplying suicide kits. I fully support the group’s efforts to raise awareness of suicide and in particular to block and/or ban any internet sites which play on the vulnerability of people at a low time.” She added, “As the MP for South Down I am particularly concerned about the suicide rate in Northern Ireland where more people die this way than in road traffic accidents. In Ireland, two people die every day. These are often lives that can be saved with the appropriate support at home, in the community and by the voluntary sector. “If we are to restrict access to means and methods of suicide, we must address the issue in an open and direct manner. The stigma that has surrounded suicide has to come to an end.”
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