Pat Bennett, Cllr PJ Reilly, Sgt Alison McDaid and Eddie Ward at the launch of the public consultation for the development of a regional suicide prevention action plan.
The HSE, in partnership with other organisations, is working to develop a Suicide Prevention Action Plan for counties Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath, Louth and Meath.
And earlier today (Monday, October 2), the Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare Organisation (CHO) launches a public consultation for a regional suicide prevention action plan.
Mr Pat Bennett, Chief Officer for the six counties said: “‘Connecting for Life’ is Ireland’s National Strategy to reduce suicide in Ireland 2015-2020. The HSE, in partnership with other organisations, is working to develop a Suicide Prevention Action Plan and we look forward to working with our communities and our partners in other agencies on this plan.”
Over the coming weeks people from across the six counties - Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath, Louth and Meath - will be invited to give their views through surveys, postcards and group meetings, to inform the Suicide Prevention Action Plan.
This consultation is aimed at members of the public, members of communities at increased risk of self-harm and suicide, and those working community, health and social care organisations.
Mr Bennett stated: “Through these consultations, these groups will be invited to say what their concerns are, and what they feel is most needed to improve mental health, and reduce suicide and self-harm in our communities.”
Ms Siobhan McArdle, Head of Mental Health services for the region, explained that the consultation process will take place during the month of October 2017.
There are a number of ways in which people can get involved as outlined below;
Members of the public are invited to take part in a short online survey. The link to the survey is available at www.connectingforlifemidlandslouthmeath.ie
A paper copy of the survey can be downloaded from the website above or by contacting your local Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone as listed below;
Sandra Okome Louth / Meath 087 132 1344
Eddie Ward Longford Westmeath 043 33 50169 or 086 380 1152
Josephine Rigney Laois / Offaly 086 815 7850
Postcards will be distributed widely throughout the various counties in libraries, health centres, hospital waiting areas, public service centres, family resource centres, etc. We would ask you to complete the short questions on the postcards and return them via the return box provided.
Members of specific group will be invited to attend group meetings. These are groups such as young people, Travellers, members of the LGBTI community, mental health service users and people bereaved by suicide.
Ms McArdle concluded that “The 'Connecting for Life' consultation process will run throughout the month of October 2017 and we encourage as many people as possible in the Midlands, Louth and Meath to take part in this consultation.”