‘We need to talk more openly about suicide’

Elaine Moraes from Smart PA, Angela Killion from Longford Volunteer Centre, Kerry Reid from Good2Talk, Angela He, Barbara Smyth, Jane Reilly, Kazeeim Ogunsakin, Barbara Doyle, Mick Joyce, Templemichael College Deputy Principal Mick O'Rourke, Peter Briody, Chris Courtney and Tena Keown pictured with transition year students  who participated in a walk to mark World Suicide Prevention Day on Thursday last, September 10. Photo by: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie
Anxiety sufferers and those suffering from suicidal thoughts were told this week: “Reach out because help is at hand.”

Anxiety sufferers and those suffering from suicidal thoughts were told this week: “Reach out because help is at hand.”

It was a message which was unequivocally delivered by Good2Talk, a Longford town non-for-profit organisation to mark world suicide prevention day.

Volunteers and guidance counsellors from the locally-based body joined with students and members of the public for a specially arranged awareness walk.

Amongst the crowd was local man, Anthony Brady. He appealed for those feeling down or depressed to reach out after his own brother died by suicide.

“We need to get people, young people and especially men to talk because they are not great at expressing their feelings,” he said.

“People have problems and might not like to express them to other people but everyone has close friends that they should at least try and talk to.”

Local community activist, Barbara Smyth was another to lend her support to the event.

She heaped praise on the work being carried out by organisations like Good2Talk in the bid to raise awareness about suicide.

She said she felt compelled to attend given that some of her own daughter’s friends, some as young as 14, had taken their own lives.

“I don’t think there is a family in the country who hasn’t been affected by suicide,” she said.

“The unfortunate thing is you just don’t know why.

“It’s an unanswered question for a very long time so it’s fantastic that people are raising awareness.”

Kerry Reid, a therapist attached to Good2Talk, conceded Longford has had its fair share of tragedies in recent times, but urged people to speak out and take advantage of the supports available to them.

“Longford seems to have been touched quite a few times recently (by suicide),” she lamented.

“But what something like today does, is it reaches out to people that have those thoughts and ideations that there are people who are here who can listen to them.”