£10k suicide awareness programme at Ulidia

Ulidia Integrated College. INCT 21-709-CON
Ulidia Integrated College. INCT 21-709-CON

A new programme providing pupils and parents with suicide awareness and prevention training will commence next month in Carrickfergus.

Ulidia Integrated College has been awarded £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All initiative.

The grant will also allow the school to provide leadership skills and Healthy Minds classes to about 400 people outside of school hours, so that they have the skills and confidence to support friends or family members.

Principal Eugene Martin explained: “We have always placed great emphasis on pastoral care and suicide prevention, in particular is very close to our heart. We want to develop a safe environment in which to tackle the issue of suicide prevention within the college and the wider community with the support of PIPS (preventing suicide through education) Programmes.

“We would like to ensure that teaching staff within the college are equipped to identify young people at risk and feel confident in providing support and advice at critical moments.

“We also would like to develop the skills and confidence of our older students when dealing with distressed friends, peers or siblings in order to ensure that these young people are equipped to cope with any concerns they have and in critical situations.

“We hope to raise awareness within the wider community of the school by providing parents with much needed advice and support when dealing with concerns over the safety and well-being of their children. We want to ensure our school community feel confident and competent in supporting others who are distressed.”

The programme will continue into the next school year and is incorporated into the pastoral care programme for 2015-16 and beyond.

Ulidia is among 82 groups across Northern Ireland who are sharing in a total grants windfall of £701,660. Awards for All offers community, voluntary and statutory groups the chance to apply for sums of between £500 and £10,000 that will have a big impact on communities and the lives of people most in need.

Joanne McDowell, Big Lottery Fund NI Director, said: “The application process is simple and accessible and shall remain so, making it easy for applicants to successfully apply for small pots of funding that can have such a big impact on local communities and lives.”

Application forms and guidance notes are available to download at www.biglotteryfund.org.uk

For more details call 028 9055 1455, or e-mail enquiries.ni@biglotteryfund.org.uk