The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Update - Youth Suicide Prevention Project


J. Terry Ryan, Children of Ireland • 8 October 2004

Hello Everyone!

Whew! What an eventful past 2 months!

First, 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!

Then I returned to Florida and played "dodge the hurricanes"!

Briefly, 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 related issues!

Two 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 suicide situation.

Unfortunately, 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).

All 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!

Next 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: MORE baseball equipment is STILL needed and FedEx continues to provide assistance - PLEASE CONTACT ME TODAY!!

Additionally, 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.

As 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.

Take 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
PH: 850/562-6466
"Helping community centres in Northern Ireland working with at-risk children by purchasing recreation and education equipment"




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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

9 October 2004

Other Articles From This Issue:

Death of George Harrison
Ruairi O Bradaigh, National Irish Freedom Committee and Brian Mór

Can't Deal, Won't Deal
Anthony McIntyre

Update - Youth Suicide Prevention Project
J. Terry Ryan

Father Mc Manus on Ron Lauder, David Trimble, the Orange Order, and Catholic anti-Semitism
Father Sean Mc Manus

Say it in Breac'n English (Part Four)
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Some Inconvenient Facts
Patrick Hurley

Marx, Engels and Lenin on the Irish Question
Liam O Ruairc

The Gates of Hell
Elana Golden

After the Venezuela Referendum
Toni Solo

One for the Road
Brian Mór

5 October 2004

Marty O'Hagan Three Years On
Anthony McIntyre

Say it in Breac'n English (Part Three)
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Shankill Education
Mick Hall

Where Are We After Fours Years of Intifada?
Haithem El-Zabri

The Letters page has been updated.



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