A FREE service which helps adults throughout North Cork who may be contemplating suicide, or have previously attempted suicide, has helped at least 200 people since 2008.
Diadhuit Suicide Prevention Ireland is a voluntary initiative which consists of qualified psychotherapists who offer clinical one to one support.
Chairperson Cllr John Paul O'Shea (Ind) said they are the first of its kind in the country and accepts referrals via GPs, consultant psychiatrists and other health professionals.
He told The Corkman that since 2008 the group has helped people mainly based in Mallow but is now branching out towards Kanturk and Fermoy.
As the recession continues to bite and people are facing difficult financial situations, or may be experiencing family or emotional problems, Diadhuit Suicide Prevention aims to help anyone who gets a referral from their GP.
Cllr O'Shea explained that it's at a GP's professional opinion whether or not an individual would benefit from either medication or going down the psychotherapy route.
"As this is a free service, it means that a person doesn't have to worry about the cost of attending a psychotherapist if their GP feels this is the best option to take for that patient who is experiencing a crisis," said Cllr O'Shea.
The psychotherapist offers a series of 12 face to face meetings on a weekly basis and the patient can have direct contact by phone on a 24/7 basis if required.
"What occurs between the psychotherapist and GP and the patient is strictly confidential," Cllr O'Shea emphasised. "As a voluntary group we fundraise and highlight the free service that we provide.
"It is our aim to let people know that we are in existence and do want to help people," he added.
The Diadhuit Suicide Prevention Ireland is governed by a voluntary board which includes a GP, solicitor, public representatives, local business people and volunteers.
Just some of the voluntary members include Kanturk photographer Patrick Casey, junior Minister State Sean Sherlock, Dr Tom Molloy along with a host of other volunteers.
Cllr O'Shea said the service since 2008 has helped people from all backgrounds.
"This free service means that a person has the opportunity to talk to someone in confidence about their current thoughts and feelings, and to share and learn about their situation and its dangers," he said.