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Tag Archives: suicide

‘I Hid it so well. No One Knew’

Ennis woman Irene Hehir shares her struggle with depression in the hope of helping others to seek help.  IRENE Hehir describes herself as an “everyday girl living in the town of Ennis”. She has a good life, she has a good job, she has a great family and a great network of friends, but behind it all she was struggling with her mental health. To everyone who knew her, including those closest to her, the now 42 year old, was “Happy go Larry”, “the life and soul of the party”. Her outward life was about being seen to be “having the craic”, “being pure bould, carrying on and having a laugh”. But inside she was in turmoil. Her parents, extended family and friends, who have always been so supportive, didn’t know any of this was going on. In her early teens Irene was systematically bullied, and a physical assault which rendered her unconscious left her in constant fear. Although she …

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“In addiction there is chaos, there is mayhem, there is violence”

WATCHING a child being torn by addiction may be the most excruciating experience a parent can go through. That’s the view of a Kilrush mother who has lost a child who went through that struggle, and she has some very strong and informed opinions on the drug problem. “As a parent I think one of the hardest things you’ll ever see is your child being in a place where you can’t take that demon from them. You can do your best to help them as much as you can and let them know you’re there for them, but it’s probably the hardest thing you’ll ever watch,” she says. As well as losing her child, she has eight siblings who are addicted to drink and/or drugs, so substance abuse has really wreaked havoc on those around her and affected her own life. In recent years she has taken courses in addiction studies, allowing her understand the issues more fully. She believes …

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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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