Monday 5 December 2016

Meet the local residents patrolling Limerick city’s bridges on suicide watch

Published 15/09/2016 | 17:31

Credit: Limerick Suicide Watch
Credit: Limerick Suicide Watch

A group of locals are trying to provide support for people at risk of suicide in Limerick City, where the rate of suicide is one of the highest in the country.

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Limerick Suicide Watch was set up recently to patrol Limerick’s four bridges and offer support to people in distress.

Most of their members are involved because they or someone they know has been affected by suicide.

“Sometimes it’s as easy as to go over to someone and ask if they’re okay. They might not have spoken to anyone in a few weeks and people do tend to open up to us,” Lucy O’Hara, a committee member, told Independent.ie.

All of their volunteers have first aid, CPR and ASIST training. They offer support to people in distress or alert the Gardaí or Marine Search and Rescue if needed. They sometimes have to restrain people and the group can get support from other services.

“There’s a great connection between the services in Limerick and we’re able to radio straight through to the rescuers if we need to.”

The group relies entirely on donations from the community to pay for training and kits for their volunteers; they are hoping to patrol all seven nights of the week in the future.

“The response we get from the community is phenomenal. It is difficult to do but you really get something out of helping people.”

Limerick Suicide Watch are relaunching this Friday with the District Mayor in attendance. If you’d like to volunteer, find the form on their website: http://www.cspplimerick.org/.

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