24/7 crisis support centre opened in east Belfast

Anne Bill, FASA chief executive; Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael McBride; and Stephen Reynolds, FASA vice-chair
Anne Bill, FASA chief executive; Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael McBride; and Stephen Reynolds, FASA vice-chair

A 24/7 service for people in distress – offering a safe place for anyone who suffers a mental health incident – has been opened by the Forum for Action on Substance Abuse (FASA).

Speaking on Thursday, World Suicide Day, at the new Nightingale Crisis Support Centre in east Belfast, Chief Medical Officer Michael McBride said each year in Northern Ireland “we lose around 280 people to suicide – this is many times more than are killed on our roads”.

“Suicide is a tragedy for our community as well as personally for the lives it touches,” he added.

“Each life has incalculable value, leaving behind grieving loved ones.”

Facilities at the Nightingale Crisis Support Centre include a welcome suite for assessment and conversation; calming room; TV; music; reading material; interview rooms; library and computer suite.

Services include befriending and peer support, holistic therapy and telephone crisis family support.