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PHA training: Suicide and self harm - keeping the intoxicated safe (Northern area)


Public Health Agency

Type: News
Region: Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland

The Public Health Agency (PHA) and Causeway Rural and Urban Network (CRUN), in partnership with other community networks in the Northern area, are providing free training to help protect the lives of intoxicated people at risk of self-harm or suicide. The training, funded by PHA, is for practitioners from statutory, community and voluntary sector organisations and groups in the Northern area. It will increase understanding of the links between alcohol and self-harm and improve the skills used by health professionals, and others, to support people at risk.Madeline Heaney, PHA Head of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement (North), said: "Suicide and self-harm are serious issues in Northern Ireland, so reducing suicide and its tragic consequences for families and communities and tackling self-harm are top priorities for our society. "This vital training for professionals who come into contact with at-risk and vulnerable people was developed to raise awareness of the links between self harm and intoxication, and to assist practitioners who come into contact with patients and clients, especially those who are under the influence of alcohol."Although these workshops are open to any professional involved with people at risk, preference will be given to GPs and practice staff, community and youth workers, local community mental health workers, sports leaders, church leaders and local teachers, as potentially the first point of contact for intoxicated people at risk of self-harm. The training would also be useful for those in contact with people at risk of self-harm and suicide, regardless of intoxication."The one-day workshops will be delivered by ZEST across the 10 council districts in the Northern area, through a partnership approach with North Antrim Community Network, Causeway Rural and Urban Network, Cookstown and Western Shores Area Network and South Antrim Rural Network.Madeline Heaney added: "We are delighted that Conor McCafferty from ZEST is providing this training. He has over 10 years' experience working on this issue, including researching the effect of alcohol abuse on self-harm and suicidal behaviour."The training will include:Self-harm terminologyUnderstanding self-harm, its impact extent in Northern Ireland Alcohol: use, misuse, abuse, dependency and effect on self-harm and suicidal behaviour Identifying how to work with both alcohol and self harm simultaneouslyIndividual Skills overview Case studies, practice and Referral PathwaysTraining dates and venues:11 October 2012 - Carnlough Church of Ireland Church Hall, Carnlough   8 November 2012 - Maghera Leisure Centre, Maghera   6 December 2012 - Hope Centre, Ballymena 17 January 2013 - Oakfield Community Centre, Carrickfergus   7 February 2013 - Coleraine West Community Centre, Coleraine   7 March 2013 - Dunanney Community Centre, Rathcoole, NewtownabbeyWorkshop places are strictly limited to 25 per course and will be allocated from those who register an interest; places cannot be booked or reserved but will be confirmed three weeks prior to each workshop date.For further information and to register your interest, please contact: Nicola Greer or Geraldine Wills at Causeway Rural and Urban Network, Tel: 028 7034 4934 or email: geraldine@crun.orgIf 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





Rights: Public
Suggested citation:

Public Health Agency. (2012) PHA training: Suicide and self harm - keeping the intoxicated safe (Northern area) [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 14th November 2019].


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