Many of us struggle, but there is always support

The following letter from me appeared in the Belfast Telegraph today (Friday 4 February 2011);

Last Friday a person died on the A2 Bangor-to-Belfast Road after falling from the Holywood Exchange flyover.

It was reported by the media that the person took their own life and was Karen Cromie, a talented athlete who participated in the 2008 Beijing ParalympicsGames and was in training for the 2012 London Paralympic Games. 

While I didn't know Karen personally, I wish to take this opportunity, as a local councillor, to pass my condolences to Karen's family and friends during this difficult period.

Karen's death should serve as a clear reminder that one-in-five people in Northern Ireland will experience problems that affect their mental health.

As someone who has previously experienced depression and lost friends due to suicide, I urge anyone who feels suicidal to talk.

It's okay to feel down, but don't bottle things up.

Talk to someone you can trust, or if you feel that you can't talk to anyone you know, or would prefer to talk to someone anonymously, contact Lifeline on (0808) 808 8000. You can also contact the Samaritans on (08457) 909090 or e-mail

You are not alone. People are there for you, waiting to talk and help you overcome your problems.

Councillor Andrew Muir (Alliance)

North Down Borough Council