COMMUNITIES across Clare are being encouraged to get out, get active and Connect for Console over the October Bank Holiday weekend.
Voluntary organisation Muintir na Tíre has joined forces with national suicide prevention charity, Console, to promote a weekend of community physical activity, while raising awareness of positive mental health.
“From biking to bog snorkelling, our groups around County Clare will be organising all kinds of fun activities and encouraging the people in their communities to take part and get talking,” said Niall Garvey, CEO of Muintir na Tíre.
The organisation operates the Community Alert programme, in conjunction with An Garda Síochána, and supports community development, with over 1,000 community councils and community alert groups affiliated throughout Ireland.
“Our Connect for Console weekend is not just about raising funds, we are also making sure it’s an opportunity to create good neighbours and make new friends,” said Niall.
Founder and CEO of Console, Paul Kelly, is delighted with the organisation’s new partnership.
“Two of Console’s central themes are community and communication and Muintir’s October Bank Holiday activity weekend offers a perfect example of these in action,” said Paul.
“Along with the fun, there is a serious purpose and Muintir members will be getting the message out there to people who may be in distress, that there is always hope and help available at Console.
“They will also be using their countrywide connections to spread the word about Console’s 24-hour Farm and Rural Stress helpline (Freephone 1800 742 645) among rural communities.”
Muintir na Tíre groups who want to take part are asked to register with the organisation’s head office. “They simply decide on the activity they would like to do, it could be anything from walking, running and cycling, to skipathons and egg and spoon races, and we will send them out a briefing pack outlining what is involved,” said Niall.
“We know that once they are committed, our groups will do a great job for their communities and Console.”
Console offers counselling services and 24-hour helpline support to people in crisis and those bereaved by suicide (Freephone 1800 247 247).
Console has full-time counselling centres in Limerick Cork, Dublin, Wexford, Galway, Kerry and Mayo. It also offers services in Kildare and Athlone and has recently opened a service in London.
Counselling is available for any individual, couples, families or children who have been affected by suicide.
Console can be reached at any time and many resources and useful information can be found at www.console.ie.