Signs reaching out to those in deep distress or contemplating suicide have been erected at Craigavon Lakes.
The signage is the brainchild of Craigavon branch of Samaritans, who first approached the council in November 2011.
A formal proposal was submitted in October 2012, followed by further discussions between then and the early months of 2014, including talks with then Mayor, Councillor Mark Baxter.
The Samaritans’ proposal was for the erection of four signs at selected locations around the Craigavon Lakes.
The project was to be funded by Craigavon Samaritans – a voluntary body funded entirely by donations from the general public and local fundraising events.
The proposals were approved in May and the signs were erected in October.
The branch has thanked the council for supporting the signage project and the former Mayor, Councillor Mark Baxter, Councillor Carla Lockhart and council officers. Councillor Lockhart said at the May Council meeting – “If the signs make one person think again, they will have done their job.”
Mr Baxter said, “I’m delighted to finally see this initiative come to Craigavon Lakes and I must pay tribute to the Samaritans locally who not only do sterling work in the community, but by their determination and persistence have seen this project come to fruition. I’m glad that I’ve played a small part and will continue to champion the need for suicide awareness.”
Craigavon Mayor Colin McCusker said, “These four signs... are a brilliant idea and I was more than happy to support this proposal during my time as Deputy Mayor. Suicide in Northern Ireland is something we as a collective society need to get to grips with, and only last week,
“I supported anti-bullying week, in a small effort, to help combat suicide in young people.”
The Samaritans thanked Gerard Comac of Trade Signs, Lurgan for suppling and fitting all four signs free of charge.