What an eventful past 2 months!
a trip to Belfast where I had over 20 meetings with
the Department of Health, the North and West Belfast
Trust, numerous community organizations, mental
health workers, politicians, and others interested
in the horrible trend of youth suicides in Northern
Ireland....all within 5 days!
I returned to Florida and played "dodge the
the overall concensus within communities was needs
for a tremendous overhaul in health services with
youth suicide prevention taking a lead! Unfortunately,
the N&W Belfast Trust insists on only providing
"general health information" with prevention
of suicide contained within. Community leaders,
mental health workers, and our own team of professional
mental health Doctors disagree and say there should
be a separate program addressing youth suicide prevention
and, most importantly, much more funding for health
news articles came out about my personal efforts,
naturally, critical of the Department of Health
and the N&W Belfast Trust; however, hopeful
that continued discussions would lead to implementation
of some of the communities' needs and our Doctors'
recommendations. These articles were followed by
a flurry of other youth suicide related articles
in these and other newspapers on various related
topics including personal interviews of parents,
attempted suicide victims, and others. The culmination
was an International Suicide Awareness Day organized
by Philip McTaggert of the PIPS project (whom we
wholeheartedly support and are good friends with),
which held a rally at the Belfast City Hall to bring
more public awareness of the continuing dire youth
the last 2 weeks have seen the suicides of a doctor
and patient at the Royal Hospital within a few hours
of each other, which is now being investigated.
Then the tragic suicide of a 14 year old girl last
week who overdosed in response to tremendous bullying
at her private school. (note: the topic of bullying
has now begun to come to the forefront and will,
hopefully, begun to be addressed since numerous
reports of related attempted and completed suicides
are starting to surface).
articles can be found on our Youth
Suicide Project website, and toward the bottom
of this Project Summary page. I believe you will
be astounded at the recent publicity provided
hopes are to continue the much needed publicity
until positive changes are made!
of all, our baseball teams are up and running!!
The Port Stewart teams traveled to Dublin for their
first-ever game on a REAL diamond!! They loved it!
Pictures can be found via a link at the TOP of our
main website page: www.childrenofireland.us.
MORE baseball equipment is STILL needed and FedEx
continues to provide assistance - PLEASE CONTACT
I've gotten a request for help in providing equipment
for a boxing club! If you have or know anyone who
can donate such equipment, please contact me.
always, THANK YOU very much for your continued support
- We continue to have requests for assistance from
community centres for equipment purchases, so please
consider joining with us to assist - please send
all donations to the below address payable to The
Children of Ireland Group, Inc. All donations are
naturally IRS tax exempt.
care - let me know if you have any questions - your
comments and thoughts are always welcomed!
J. Terry Ryan, President
The Children of Ireland Group, Inc.
(a 501 c 3 Non-profit Organization)
P.O. Box 13241
Tallahassee, Florida 32317 USA
"Helping community centres in Northern Ireland
working with at-risk children by purchasing recreation
and education equipment"