Lockhart MLA supports PIPS

Carla Lockhart MLA with PIPS workers and volunteers.
Carla Lockhart MLA with PIPS workers and volunteers.

DUP MLA Carla Lockhart has supported an event held by PIPS Upper Bann to raise awareness about suicide.

PIPs also known as the Public Initiative for Prevention of Suicide was formed in 2007 to cover the Upper Bann area aims to support people who have been affected by suicide in any way and to improve mental health within the community.

The group hold events to raise awareness of mental illness and also what they do. This event, whilst on the lighter side, had the same serious message, said MLA Lockhart.

Speaking after attending the successful event in Lurgan Park Carla Lockhart said: “I would like to commend the organisers of this event for their hard work and dedication. Mental Illness is very real and affects so many in our community. We want to see this become very much an open conversation. Speaking up and speaking out will bring this issue to the forefront.

“The DUP when negotiating with the Conservative Party placed mental health as one of the key issues to support through funding. I am delighted that we will now see more funding available and more help for those who suffer in silence. I want to commend PIPS for all the work they do and if you are suffering please do get in touch with them.”

The charity PIPS has a small team of paid staff and volunteers who offer dedicated support for those in need.

PIPS Charity offers a ‘no appointment’ service to ensure there is always someone to contact for a chat when a person might feel vulnerable, might be at risk of suicidal behaviours or in need of assistance or guidance.

The PIPS website says: “PIPS is your light in the dark. When a person comes to PIPS for help they will be spoken to immediately and a stay safe/support plan will be put in place. We have an open door policy and you will not have to wait days or weeks to see a counsellor/therapist. In addition to providing this immediate support, PIPs acts as a gateway to other services. PIPS Charity also facilitates a regular family support group.

“PIPS support extends to families and friends bereaved by suicide. This provision takes the form of group work, 1-2-1 befriending, counselling, therapies, peer support and advocacy. PIPS provide training courses in suicide and self-harm prevention with a focus on intervention at the earliest possible point.”