‘Take a minute, change a life’ on World Suicide Prevention Day 2017

Longford Leader Reporter


Longford Leader Reporter



World Suicide Prevention Day 2017

The theme for World Suicide Prevention Day 2017 is ‘Take a minute, change a life’.

Unfortunately, every year more than 800,000 people throughout the world die by suicide and up to 25 times as many make a suicide attempt. The theme this year for World Suicide Prevention Day 2017 is ‘Take a minute, change a life’.

As members of communities, it is our responsibility to look out for those who may be struggling, check in with them, and encourage them to tell their story in their own way and at their own pace.  Offering a gentle word of support and listening in a non-judgemental way can make all the difference. ‘Taking a minute can change a life’.

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As World Suicide Prevention Day approaches, the HSE would like to give reassurance that there is help and support available for anyone who is feeling vulnerable, distressed or having thoughts of ending their life or if you are concerned about the welfare of a loved one.   The range of support services are outlined below:

* GPs who can make a referral to all relevant services within the HSE system, i.e. Child and Adolescent, Young Persons and Adult Mental Health Services, Psychology, Social Work, Addiction and Substance Mis-Use Services, Primary Care services, etc.

* MiDoc Out of Hours service:  LoCall: 1850-302-702.

* Walk-in facilities in the Assessment Unit in the Departments of Psychiatry Portlaoise and Mullingar.

* Psychiatric Liaison and Self Harm Nurses who are available in the Emergency Departments to assess, support and refer individuals who present,

* Suicide Crisis Assessment Nurses who are available to GPs in the community to undertake a prompt response to adult patients affected by self-harm, suicide distress or risk, including a risk assessment and crisis intervention treatments and supports.

* HSE Counselling in Primary Care (CIPC) – a short term counselling service with a Therapist.  The service is available for persons over 18 years of age who are medical card holders and who may be experiencing difficulties such as: depression, anxiety, panic reactions, relationship problems, loss issues, stress etc.  Access to the service is by referral from GP’s and any member of a Primary Care team.

* Suicide Bereavement Liaison Service:  A Suicide Bereavement Liaison Person is available to meet with a bereaved family (at their request) as a group or individually to provide practical help and support, answer questions and give information.  Support can also be given by telephone and can be provided hours, days, weeks or years after the loss.  The service is coordinated by Bernie Carroll, an Accredited Counsellor (MIACP), based in Tullamore, Co Offaly who can be contacted on (086) 418 0088, e-mail: midlandssbls@gmail.com or through your local GP.

* TRAINING PROGRAMMES:  The aim of ‘Connecting for Life’ – The National Strategy for Action on Suicide Prevention’ is to endeavour to increase individual and community capacity and responsibility to prevent suicide.   The prevention of suicide is everyone’s concern.  No one individual, organisation or indeed initiative will successfully reduce the number of deaths by suicide.

* Programmes in suicide awareness and prevention skills training are delivered on an ongoing basis in various locations and in 2016 over 1,200 people attended both the SafeTALK (Suicide Alertness) Programme and A.S.I.S.T. (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) workshops.   

* SafeTALK is a 3 hr programme which teaches the skills to become ‘suicide alert’ and to be able to recognise, engage and support people who may be contemplating suicide.   

* A.S.I.S.T. is a 2-day skills based workshop with the aim of training participants to respond to a suicide risk and intervene appropriately to provide immediate help and safety.   Enquiries to participate in these programmes should be directed to Josephine Rigney, Resource Officer Laois/Offaly, email: josephine.rigney@hse.ie, mobile 086-8157 850 or Eddie Ward, Resource Officer Longford/Westmeath, email: eddie.ward@hse.ie, mobile: 086 380 1152.

The HSE works in partnership on an ongoing basis with voluntary and other statutory organisations such as Grow, Shine, Mental Health Ireland, Midlands Living Links and Aware to deliver a community wide targeted approach for the promotion of positive mental health and the prevention of suicide.   

Specifically targeted programmes are funded and delivered to key groups within the community, i.e. secondary school students, community groups, sport clubs, the unemployed, workplaces and those bereaved by suicide

Within the Midlands, there are many other organisations who work in the area of mental health awareness and promotion, i.e.

SAMARITANS: Helpline: 116 123 / Text: 087-260 9090
Email: jo@samaritans.org

24/7 Suicide Helpline: (Pieta House) 1800 247 247 / Text ‘help’ to 51444.

PIETA HOUSE (preventing suicide and self-harm) 01-601 0000 (Dublin Centres); 0505 22568 (Roscrea Centre)

AWARE: Helpline 1800 80 48 48; Email: supportmail@aware.ie

GROW: Info Line: 1890 474 474 / 057 93 51124 for information on GROW Support Groups in your area.

MENTAL HEALTH IRELAND: Regional Development Officer: 086-8353387

SHINE (supporting people affected by mental ill-health) Helpline: 1890 621 631 / 086 8525 281.

SENIOR HELPLINE: 1850 404 444


CHILDLINE: 1800 666 666.

PCI Counselling Service (reduced cost) 0818 555 450  (11am – 6pm)

Midland Living Links: Co-Ordinator: 086-1600641. (Bereavement listening/support service)

Youth Support Services: www.jigsaw.ie  /  www.spunout.ie  /  www.reachout.com

www.yourmentalhealth.ie is an online resource that contains a comprehensive database of mental health support services throughout Ireland.  The site is the place to learn information on mental health and how to support yourself and the people you love.  You can find support services near you and learn about the #littlethings that can make a big difference to your level of mental health.

The HSE Suicide Prevention Resource Service also provide a support telephone number (Mobile: 086-8157320) for those who would like to talk in confidence, or for anyone who might be worried about family members or friends and would like advice or information.