A CLARE mental health counsellor has been moved to deliver a suicide prevention talk in Ennis after receiving news that a childhood neighbour had died by suicide.
Sheila McMahon, who is based in the UK and originally from Newmarket-on-Fergus, said, “I was told it was the second suicide in the village within a week” adding that on the same day she was aware of two others who died by suicide in the county.
“This is horrendous really when you sit back and think about it.”
The registered mental health counsellor works to help arm people with the skills and tools to help anyone experiencing thoughts of suicide, or suicide intent, as part of her continuing mission to “create positive change” and stop the stigma in the Midlands and wider UK.
Sheila even faced a fear recently and challenged herself to learn to ride a motorbike, in an emotional effort to encourage more people to learn to help those at potential risk of suicide by watching her free YouTube video on the topic.
Sheila has announced, in an emotional video on her social media, that she is to deliver her first ever suicide prevention talk in Clare, which will also raise money to help mental health charities there to further their work.
“Not talking about suicide just fuels the stigma,” she says.
Sheila, who delivers mental health educational Theatre shows, and suicide prevention talks to groups across the UK, went on to say: “I can’t just sit back and do nothing, and I won’t.”
“It will all be about prevention because unfortunately things are still being shoved under the carpet and that just fuels the stigma. If we don’t talk about it, it’s still going to keep happening.”
“I’m willing to do something about it and I’d love for people to come along and join me in making a difference. I don’t want to hear stories like the life of someone in their 40s has come to an end. So, let’s make some positive change together.”
Sheila’s talk will explore why people have suicidal thoughts and intent, why there is a stigma and how we can work together to manage it, helpful and unhelpful responses to suicidal thoughts. How to manage suicidal intent. How to look after our selfcare too, and much more.
During this event there will be an opportunity to remember a lost loved one to suicide.
She says “We can’t bring back the loved ones we have lost by suicide, but we can ensure that their lives have not gone in vain, to educate ourselves about the topic of suicide from a preventative point of view”.
Sheila’s background is in stand-up comedy, so she will combine some of this talk with humour and songs to bring some light-heartedness, creating a relaxed environment where people can learn and create positive change.
Sheila will deliver her suicide prevention talk on Tuesday, August 22, 8pm until 10pm, at Treacys West County Hotel in Ennis, County Clare. The talk is also a fundraising event raising money to support mental health charities in Clare.
For more details and to get tickets visit Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/suicide-prevention-talk-tickets-677180694687?aff=oddtdtcreator
If you are struggling with your mental health, you can find lots of free videos with tips and advice from Sheila on her YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/SheilasYouTubeChannel
If you need to speak to someone you can call the Samaritans on 116 123.