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Tag Archives: Samaritans

Samaritans seeking volunteers

ENNIS and Clare Samaritans are appealing to members of the local community to sign up to support people in distress who might not have anywhere else to turn. Samaritans offer round-the-clock emotional support and a safe space for people to talk, in their own way, about whatever is getting to them. The confidential service is offered by phone, email, text, letter and face-to-face. Based on the Kilrush Road in Ennis, the branch is looking to recruit more people to ensure it can continue to offer its service to the local community. Last year, Samaritans Ennis answered 40,955 calls and they need additional help to continue to provide the service. Claire Cremin, director of the Ennis and Clare branch said, “Everyone has it in them to be a Samaritan volunteer. Samaritans are just ordinary people who give up their time to listen to others. “To be able to touch another person’s life when it really matters, either by giving them the space …

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Samaritans on festival alert

WHILE the Fleadh is set to bring a carnival atmosphere to Ennis, sadly and inevitably a certain amount of people will be struggling and the Samaritans Festival Branch are coming to town to offer their support. Around 23 members of the branch from all over Ireland will be in Clare, where it is expected they will offer confidential emotional support to around 200 people next weekend. Sean Higgins, director of the Samaritans Festival Branch, explained volunteers at centres around the country also volunteer to travel to festivals. “There are about 70 volunteers involved in the festival branch and about 23 of them will be in Ennis. They’re from all over the country, from Coleraine, Cork, Waterford, Limerick, Dublin and, obviously, people from Ennis.” They talk to anyone in need of a listening and supportive ear. “We take our base in Ennis and we go out to the streets. We stand around, we have a little badge, we say hello to …

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Kilbeacanty GAA spreading Be Well message

A South Galway GAA club has begun a mental health initiative which proponents hope will spread nationwide. Kilbeacanty GAA Club recently launched its Be Well programme, dedicated to maintaining and improving the mental and physical well-being of members of the club and the wider community. “Two years ago, Niall Donoghue passed away. As a follow-up, we have done a few small things but this is an initiative we came up with and it might be a way of getting information to everyone in the parish. The county board is hoping to roll it out in other areas,” explained club secretary Alan O’Grady. The death of the outstanding young hurler was a devastating blow to the club and community. “It has woken up a lot of communities. It put a lot of alarm bells ringing in clubs across the county and country. Every parish should be aware that this could happen, people are depressed and we don’t want it happening in …

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University Hospital Limerick.

Reported suicides : scratching of the surface

THE lack of in-patient beds for young people with mental health issues has been highlighted by Councillor Ann Norton. “There is no bed capacity in Limerick for young people with mental health issues, there is a considerable waiting list for mental health assessments and there is an absolute lack of available counsellors, publicly or privately, for young people,” she claimed. “The Government cannot on one hand claim that young people are the future of this country and, on the other hand, ignore their plight,” she said. She has requested that the HSE assume a more direct role in the provision of mental health services to counteract the “epidemic” of suicide, warning that the number of officially reported suicide cases is “a mere scratching of the surface” in terms of the actual number of deaths occurring. “Suicide is a growing problem in this country, irrespective of what the Central Statistics Office figures show. Depression does not discriminate on the basis of …

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Samaritans answer more calls for help

THE local branch of the Samaritans is busier than it has ever been in its 33-year history. The Ennis and Clare Samaritans answered 52,376 calls in 12 months and details of the increase in the use of the Samaritans service throughout the country were revealed in the 2014-15 Impact Report covering the organisation’s work in Ireland. According to the report, more than 652,166 calls for help were answered by Samaritans volunteers across the country in the last year. The Ennis and Clare branch answered on average more than 140 calls a day. Calls to the Samaritans have gone up by a massive 60% since Samaritans launched a free to caller number 116-123 in March 2014. The launch of the free number is due to a partnership between the Samaritans, telecommunications service providers, the Government and the National Office for Suicide Prevention. Angharad Harding, director of the Ennis and Clare Samaritans, said, “The increase in calls show that many people in …

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Luka Bloom at Samaritans CD launch

THE Clare launch of the CD, Don’t Be Afraid Of The Light That Shines Within You, will take place on Saturday night at the Templegate, at which Luka Bloom will play. This CD is being sold in aid of the Samaritans and broadcaster, John Cooke will be MC at the event, which runs from 7pm to 9pm. Spokesman for the Clare and Ennis branch of the Samaritans, Enda Sheehy said, “Luka Bloom is going to be there, the Ennis Gospel Choir will be there and there’s a few local traditional musicians playing at the start of the night – Eoin O’Neill, Briege O’Gorman and Noreen Lynch. Admission is free for anyone who wants to come along.” Speaking to The Clare Champion this week, Luka Bloom said he is looking forward to the evening. “It’s a free event for the Samaritans to announce the release of this beautiful CD and to get a bit of awareness for them and the amazing work …

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Samaritans urgently need more volunteers

The Ennis and Clare branch of the Samaritans has launched an appeal for more volunteers in a bid to maintain its support services. People are urged to visit the Samaritans office on the Kilrush Road this Thursday evening at 8pm or on Saturday morning at 11am, where they will be provided with details on how to become a Samaritan. A spokesperson for the Clare branch said new volunteers are urgently needed to avoid the prospect of any reductions in the current service, which the branch hopes will not be necessary. It provides a non-judgemental confidential listening service from Monday to Friday and Sunday from 8am to 3.30am with a 24-hour service on Saturday. People can drop-in to have a face-to-face listening session from 10am to 10pm and there are up to 50 of these visits to their office on the Kilrush Road on a monthly basis. Following the introduction of the new freephone number, the branch recorded over 18,000 calls last …

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GAA forges partnership with Samaritans

IT’S a sobering reality that there are few GAA clubs that have not been touched, in some way, by suicide. With this scourge in mind, the GAA and the Samaritans have launched a partnership, which aims to reduce the stigma around the issue of mental health and to encourage help-seeking behaviour. In its next phase, clubs are being encouraged to get in touch with Clare Samaritans liaison volunteers, who can arrange awareness talks for their members. The Samaritans exists to offer confidential, emotional support to people who are experiencing feelings of distress and despair, including feelings that may lead to suicide. This is done, primarily, by providing those who are having trouble with a safe place to talk. To achieve this, the charity operates a helpline, which is available 24/7, at a free-to-caller number 116 123. They may be contacted by email at jo@samaritans.org, or people can also call to the centre on the Kilrush Road in Ennis, between the …

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