Lady Mary Peters has taken part in a short series of powerful new videos by leading charity Extern highlighting the impact of suicide on the lives of people who are left behind.

The videos have been created to mark World Suicide Prevention Day on Thursday, 10th September and were created with the assistance of Belfast Exposed. Included in the videos are family members holding placards with poignant messages of how losing a loved one to suicide has impacted on their lives and their communities.

Lady Mary Peters is a supporter of the charity’s Suicide Aftercare For Everyone (SAFE) project. Based in the Greater Shankill area of Belfast, Extern’s project raises awareness on the issue of suicide, provides support for bereaved families and organises events to highlight the issue and promote recovery.

 In her message, Lady Mary highlights the important work being carried out by Extern’s SAFE project, and the need for people whose lives have been impacted by suicide to be able to access support and advice.

Speaking about the project, she said: “As 10th September is World Suicide Day I am delighted to be able to participate in these innovative videos. Usually the families of those touched by suicide would be getting together, but because of the Covid restrictions that isn't possible this year. I have been a supporter of the SAFE project for many years and am full of respect and admiration for all that they do. I will be thinking of all the families today.”

Ben Johnston, Community Suicide Liaison Officer with Extern’s SAFE project, said: “Our videos aim to show people they are not alone and that there is help and support available. The family members of the SAFE Project came up with the concept of the video as a way to reach as many people as possible. The families take part in many awareness-raising events and activities throughout the year as part of their journey of recovery and to try and help support other people in the local community affected by suicide.

“The families have done a fantastic job in creating these pieces for World Suicide Prevention Day, and we all hope that it will give hope to those struggling and encourage more people to seek help.”

One of those participating in the video is Deirdre, from Belfast, who lost her son to suicide. She said: “A few weeks after my son’s death we got a knock on our door from Extern. My husband and I listened to what they said and decided to accept their help. As the months passed and we began to feel stronger, we were invited to the SAFE family group, where we got support from others who had suffered the same grief as ourselves.

“We went on to undertake many community events and awareness-raising activities over the years, encouraging people to get help and support, and this where we got the idea for the storyboard videos. The aim of these videos, like the SAFE Support Group, is to highlight the support out there and to show people they are not alone.”

 Danny McQuillan, Director of Services of Extern, said: “As a leading provider of mental health and suicide awareness services in Northern Ireland, we in Extern know only too well the profound and devastating impact that suicide and self-harm can have on people’s lives. Raising awareness of this issue is often an important first step in giving people the ability to access life-changing and life-saving services, so we would like to thank Lady Mary for her kind support for our work in the SAFE project and for adding her voice to these profoundly moving videos.”

 To view the videos, please click here:

  





Extern offers a number of services for help and support with suicide and mental health issues, including:

 

Extern SAFE Project: 07484 092474 (supporting families bereaved by suicide across the Greater Shankill area, Belfast)

Extern Crisis Team: 0800 085 4808

Monday & Tuesday, 9am-5pm

Wednesday-Friday, 9am-9pm

Extern’s Community Crisis Intervention Service (Derry/Londonderry)
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday  5-10pm
Thursday 8pm-Sunday 8am
Call: 028 7126 2300