Louise lobbies Stormont in memory of Michael

FERMANAGH woman Louise Boyle has taken one step closer to having resilience training added to the school curriculum.

Last week Ms Boyle, who tragically lost her partner Michael Doherty to suicide last year, addressed the All Party Group (APG) on Suicide Prevention at the Assembly.

Ms Boyle told the event, which was attended by all leading mental health charities as well as representatives from all Assembly parties, why she firmly believed wellbeing and resilience training should be included on the school curriculum.


The APG has now agreed to take her proposals to the Education Minister.

At last week’s event, Ms Boyle explained how Michael had not suffered from mental health issues, like many who have died by suicide who are never known to mental health services.

Speaking to the Herald prior to the APG meeting, Ms Boyle said stress was often a significant factor in someone completing suicide, which is why she believes teaching young people mechanisms to cope with stress, which is a subject not currently taught in schools, could help save lives.

“The whole point of me doing this is to show it literally is just a moment of crisis,” she said. “You don’t have to have depression, you don’t have to have anxiety, this is just a tendency that is in all of us, in our brains, and it just takes one second for us to get into that frame of mind, and the average suicide thought only lasts for two-and-a-half to three minutes.

“It’s really just getting through those two-and-a-half to three minutes, and that’s where the coping mechanisms.

“You could go for a shower, or going for a quick walk, or ring your friend. You don’t necessarily have to talk about how you’re feeling, it’s just distracting your brain from that thought for those few minutes.”

Following last week’s address to the APG, local MLA Jemma Dolan, who has been working with Ms Boyle, said the Enniskillen woman had made an impressive address.


“She gave a brave and honest presentation about her own experience of bereavement,” said Ms Dolan.

“Louise tragically lost her partner to suicide in 2020. Since then she, along with her partner’s family, vowed not to let Michael be just another statistic. Louise is calling on the Department of Education to introduce wellbeing and resilience into the school curriculum.

“The All Party Group on Suicide Prevention listened to her, are supporting her in this call and will write to the Minister to recommend this.”

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