On April 27, Cycle Against Suicide 2017 will pass through Granard.
Community groups, families and schoolchildren from Mullinalaghta to Longford town and from Ballinalee to Loch Gowna are being asked to rally together and support the cyclists in any way they can so that everyone can create more awareness about suicide in Co Longford.
Over 800 people die by suicide every year - this means that families and communities are impacted from death by suicide.
Cycle Against Suicide aims to affect change by beginning conversation about mental health and spreading the message that ‘It’s okay not to feel okay, and it’s absolutely okay to ask for help’ to schools, parishes, communities and businesses across Co Longford.
Each day during the Cycle, information events will be hosted at various locations along the route.
Speakers ranging from celebrities to mental health professionals will present at schools and other venues to signpost those in need to where they can access support services.
On April 27 Cnoc Mhuire in Granard will host a mental health event comprising presentations, videos, music, celebrity guests, entertainment and an exhibition on local health services.
Eileen Finan from Lus na Greine, Granard which is encouraging communities to get involved in the initiative locally, says that central to the success of the Cycle Against Suicide is the Homestay Programme.
“We would love if families and communities would come together and organise to host the cyclists in their homes,” she added.
“Cyclists will be provided with a warm meal, a chance to freshen up and a bed for the night.
“And the important thing is that they are going to raise awareness about suicide.”
At this stage it is anticipated that up to 200 cyclists will be in Granard on April 27 next.
Locals are also being invited to jump on their bikes and cycle out to meet the cyclists and join them on the trip into Granard, or alternatively join the cycle as it leaves Granard and gears up for the next location.
All of the cyclists that arrive in Granard will need a bed for the night, so the kindness and generosity of the community will be very much required for this part of the programme.
Cnoc Mhuire has kindly offered to store the bikes at its facility for the night, so once they are safely secured, the host family will collect the cyclist and take them home.
Entertainment also plays a part in the event, so all musicians, dancers and singers are asked to come on board and ensure that the cyclists are treated to a sample of the wealth of talent that is part of the north Longford town’s history and culture.
“This is a wonderful initiative that provides all of us with an opportunity to become more aware of suicide in our communities,” added Ms Finan.
“It also gives us an opportunity to show kindness and support not just to the cyclists that we will host, but also to each other and to the greater community.”
For more details contact volunteer@cycleagainstsuicide or Lus na Greine on (043) 6660977.