New suicide prevention resource for clergy

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Thursday, September 10th, 2015
A new handbook which gives advice on speaking about the issues of mental health and suicide during a religious service is being sent to clergy throughout Northern Ireland. clergy1The new booklet has been developed by partnership group ‘Flourish!’. The group includes Lighthouse Ireland, clergy from across the Christian churches in Northern Ireland, the Churches Community Work Alliance NI and the Public Health Agency (PHA). Copies of the new Flourish! Sunday Worship Resources are being sent to over 1,400 members of the clergy across all denominations to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day today, 10th September. The new booklet includes advice on preparing a service, suggestions on scripture and choices for music that could be used during the service. Madeline Heaney, Regional Lead for Mental Health Promotion with the PHA, said, “Clergy have a huge role to play in offering pastoral support during some of the most testing times in our lives. “It can often be difficult for clergy to know how best to address mental health issues and suicide within their congregation. We hope that this new resource will support and enable clergy to provide advice at such times.” For further information on Flourish! visit If you or someone you know is in distress or despair, call Lifeline on 0808 808 8000. This is a confidential service, where trained counsellors will listen and help immediately on the phone and follow up with other support if necessary. The helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also access the Lifeline website at
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