Author Archives: cwsan-admin

Suicide Prevention and Development (SPD) Project

Since 2010 CWSAN has worked with the Public Health Agency to employ a community based Suicide Prevention Development Worker for the Mid Ulster Area. This Project is linked to the Northern Ireland wide Suicide Prevention Strategy Action Plan: Protect Life and its aim is to raise suicide awareness, reduce stigma, signpost local communities and increase community involvement in suicide prevention, bereavement support and self harm initiatives.

Through this project CWSAN are part of the “Look After Yourselves & Others” Partnership which is multi agency raising awareness of the support which is available locally to improve the mental health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.

A key part of this role is capacity building local communities to become more engaged in Suicide Prevention initiatives.

During August and September 2012 22 community groups successfully applied to the Mental Health Small Grants Scheme and received funding from the PHA through CWSAN. The majority of these groups received advice and guidance from the Suicide Prevention Officer with different aspects of their programmes.

Since 2006 CWSAN have administered approx. 137 Small Grants to local community groups in the Magherafelt and Cookstown districts these have been used to initiate support groups and provide preventative measures including, alternative therapies, physical activity programmes, creative interventions such as drama and work around young men’s health issues.

As part of a Northern Area wide initiative SPDO co-ordinated Safetalk (level 2 suicide awareness) training in Magherafelt on 16th Oct 2012 and Cookstown on 27th November 2012. Both of these training sessions were well attended by the wider public.

In November SPDO co-delivered 2 day ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) – Magherafelt 19th & 20th November 2012 for the Northern Health & Social Care Trust.

The project and the involvement of the communities in Suicide Prevention has also been externally evaluated by Mc Cready, Donnelly, Lowry Ltd. This evaluation was formally launched by the Public Health Agency in November 2012 at Greenmount Colllege. Copies of this evaluation are available upon request at the CWSAN offices.

On 13th March 2013 CWSAN Suicide Prevention Officer jointly held a Suicide Prevention Conference in the Glenavon Hotel Cookstown. This conference was jointly co-ordinated by Cookstown and Magherafelt Volunteer Centre. We would also like to acknowledge much appreciated support and help received from Danielle Gallagher NHSCT Bereavement Support Officer.

SPDO co-ordinated and funded mental Health First Aid Training in Rowan Tree Centre, Pomeroy 20th March 2013.

If you wish to avail of any of the aforementioned free suicide prevention training for your community please contact Denise.

SPD Project Officer                                      Denise Doherty

T: 028 7963 4865                                           E:



The NICHI project aims to strengthen links between Public Health Agency (PHA) and local communities in order to support local communities, through a community development approach, to address health and social wellbeing issues and reduce health inequalities through signposting, building capacity and strengthening local accountability to develop healthy, sustainable communities.

The NICHI project operates across the Northern Trust Locality area and is managed by the Community Support Networks. It is funded by the Public Health Agency and works in partnership with community, voluntary and statutory organisations.

The NICHI project focuses on the wider factors which impact on the health and well being of individuals and the community, through supporting groups locally to identify and tackle health and well being concerns such as physical activity, nutrition, community safety and the environment. Previously, the NICHI small grants was an opportunity for groups to build on their experience and skills to address some of these issues. Some of the 28 projects funded included confidence building for young people, drugs and alcohol information events, and using music and dance to encourage older people to become more active.

As well as promoting health and well being training in the community, the NICHI project officer has continued to deliver health and wellbeing information and support. This has included body image workshops to both youth groups and women’s groups and Age Health and Happiness workshops to older people’s groups.

The project has continued to support communities to become involved in discussions and decision making around health improvement. The local community across Cookstown, Magherafelt and Coleraine had the opportunity to meet with Dr Michael McBride to discuss the “Fit and Well – Changing Lives” health and well being framework.

The Health Alliance was developed by the NICHI project to provide an opportunity for communities, voluntary and statutory sectors to network, share information and best practice, engage in evidence based health improvement, access training and capacity building opportunities and contribute to sharing the health improvement agenda.

For a wide range of resources and support available to create healthier communities, log onto the health alliance website Join free today at to get all the latest health news and opportunities in your area in a fortnightly e-zine. Why not sign up now!

NICHI Project Officer               Anita Kelly
(Cookstown, Magherafelt and Coleraine areas)

T: 028 7930 0726 / 075 4663 5862    E: