Park benches bring lifeline to community

Trudi Hall, from Turning Point NI and Deputy Mayor of MEA Cllr Cheryl Johnston.
Trudi Hall, from Turning Point NI and Deputy Mayor of MEA Cllr Cheryl Johnston.

New benches bearing a helpline number to be installed in parks across Mid and East Antrim were unveiled on World Suicide Prevention Day.

The initiative is being developed by the borough’s Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) and the Ballymena charity, Turning Point.

PCSP member and Deputy Mayor, Cllr Cheryl Johnston, who was instrumental in delivering this initiative to the area, said: “I have worked closely with the staff at Turning Point over the past number of months and I have seen first-hand the service they provide to all our citizens.

“I’m passionate, as is council, in raising awareness around suicide prevention There have been a number of deaths in the borough over the past year and I have seen the devastation this can cause to families and our communities as a whole.

“I hope these benches will help raise awareness and demonstrate that there is help and support for all.”

Trudi Hall from Turning Point said: “Suicide within the Northern Trust still remains a major public health issue, which has a huge lasting impact on those loved ones left behind and to those in the community. Turning Point NI would like to thank both Mid and East Antrim PSCP, Deputy Mayor Cheryl Johnston and council for supporting us with this initiative and helping us raise awareness of our vital crisis intervention services throughout the borough. We would encourage anyone who feels they need help or just to chat to contact us. We can help offer support services over the phone or face to face.”

Turning Point NI can be contacted by phone on 079 3525 5502.