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Tag Archives: suicide

Suicide strategy to assist gardaí to help others

THE introduction of a new three-year suicide prevention strategy will provide greater assistance to Clare gardaí in their work to help those suffering from psychological distress. In relation to the new Connecting for Life Suicide Prevention Action Plan, steering group member Chief Superintendent John Kerin said, for the first time, this gives gardaí more of a focus as to who in communities can help people suffering from acute distress. “Previously, gardaí were often the first responders and there really wasn’t a great follow-up. But now, getting involved in the Connecting for Life process, we understand all the agencies that can help,” he said. Superintendent Kerin said virtually every garda in the Clare division has completed training in the area of suicide prevention and awareness. Acknowledging that gardaí have engaged in acts of self-harm and have died by suicide, Superintendent Kerin said garda management is very aware of this issue and noted that a 24-hour independent service is available to gardaí …

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Ennis Samaritans respond to 50,000 calls for help

Ennis Samaritans answered 40,995 calls for help in the last 12 months, with most of these calls received out of hours when other support is not available. These call details were released in the 2015-2016 Impact Report covering Samaritans’ work in Ireland, which was launched this week. According to the report, over 639,652 calls for help were answered by Samaritans volunteers across Ireland in the last year. More than one in three calls to Samaritans’ national helpline were received between 6pm and 12am and 63% of all calls to the service are made between 6pm and 6am. Claire Cremmin, Director of Ennis branch, said: “We know that people don’t just struggle to cope between the hours of 9 to 5. The statistics released in our Impact Report 2015-2016 show many calls come through to the service throughout the evening and early morning hours, a time that can be lonely and isolating for those experiencing feelings of distress. Samaritans are the …

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Cycling heroes pedaling to Clare

THE first all-female duo cyclists to compete in the ultra-endurance Race Around Ireland are expected to arrive in Clare on Wednesday next. Lisa Jacob, former Irish international hockey player with 139 caps, and Nikki Dorey, a pilot with Aer Lingus and competitive triathlete, are competing in the gruelling ultra-distance 2,150km non-stop race. The pair will alternate cycling three hours on and three hours off for 132 hours, or five and a half days straight, starting this Sunday. They are expected to arrive in Clare on Wednesday, travelling through Doolin, Lahinch, Spanish Point, Ennis and Sixmilebridge. Both girls are strongly passionate about mental health, so they are also fundraising €100,000 for one of Ireland’s leading mental health charities, Suicide or Survive. Also very prevalent, especially with the recent referendum on gay marriage, is the closely related association between mental health and LGBT equality, especially in the youth demographic. The girls are in a long-term relationship and have a personal understanding of …

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Ennis Taxi Watch saving lives

ENNIS taxi drivers have helped save four people at risk of suicide, since getting involved in a pioneering suicide awareness initiative late last year. As highlighted in The Clare Champion, drivers with AAA Taxis signed up to the Taxi Watch initiative last year, receiving training in how to identify and talk to people at risk. According to Trevor White of AAA this week, the training has saved the lives of four people in the county capital. “At the time we first started looking into getting involved with the Taxi Watch initiative, we thought that if it just saved one life, it would be worth it. But four of our drivers have helped people in four separate incidences,” he revealed. “Thankfully, in each case, the individual spoke to and felt comfortable enough to confide in the taxi driver that they were travelling with, after the driver had asked the correct questions when they felt something wasn’t quite right. Further help and …

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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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Suicide Prevention Strategy launched

The new Suicide Prevention Strategy ‘Connecting for Life’ has been launched Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Primary and Social Care Kathleen Lynch. Dr Shari McDaid, director of Mental Health Reform, the national coalition on mental health, said, “It is positive that the strategy is described as a plan for the whole of Government because reducing suicide and self-harm requires action to influence the full range of health, social and economic factors that increase risk. Implementation of the strategy’s commitment to collaboration and coordination across departments will be key to its success.” “In Mental Health Reform’s submission to the National Office for Suicide Prevention last year, we had recommended that the new strategy include a plan to ensure that 24/7 crisis intervention be available in every mental health service. The current lack of 24/7 crisis supports in some areas is an issue that people have raised again this year at our public consultation meetings and one which needs urgent action. …

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Running helped Keith fight depression

AN Ennis champion athlete has revealed how running helped him to overcome bouts of depression. Ultra-marathon runner, Keith Whyte, who recently won the 100km ice-marathon in the Antartic, has lauded the work of Pieta House, the self-harm and suicide prevention service. Speaking at the Clare launch of the 2015 events, Mr Whyte urged people to attend the fundraiser in huge numbers. While the 35-year-old athlete never experienced suicidal tendencies, he did suffer from depression in his early 20s and found running helped to lift his mood. In addition to raising vital funds for the charity, he said the Darkness into Light walk would help raise public awareness and general debate about depression, which is still considered something of a taboo subject. “Depression can happen to anyone at any time. I think deep down most people have suffered from depression in some form. A lot depends on a person’s coping skills and having the right people around them to prevent it …

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