SOUTH Kerry Coroner Terence Casey has appealed to publicans and other business owners to display newly produced information posters detailing potentially life-saving contact numbers for those who may be at risk of suicide.
The posters follow a call made by Mr Casey on September 24 after a staggering six verdicts of suicide were returned during a single sitting of inquests at Killarney Courthouse. On that occasion the coroner said it was hard to understand why anybody takes their own life before calling for more readily available information on services to be made available in pubs and other public places.
Responding to the call, 'Be Aware - Prevent Suicide ' Chairwoman Deirdre Fee has produced a helpline poster displaying more than a dozen phone numbers linked to suicide prevention and this was launched by Mr Casey during the annual Killarney Rotary Club Wine and Art Evening in the Malton Hotel on Saturday night. The main beneficiaries of the night were Kerry Stars Special Olympics and Be Aware Prevent Suicide.
The laminated posters come with adhesive backing and are sponsored by Be Aware - Prevent Suicide. They will be distributed to bars, hotels and other venues where people gather socially and can be displayed on the back of toilet doors.
Mr Casey said he hoped the initiative would help save lives.
"Even if they save just one or two lives, it will be worth the effort - I would appeal to all publicans and other businesses dealing with the public to display them," he stated.
He added that, while he was conscious of the despair and isolation some people experience, there was also a lot of help out there which is just a phone call away.
Ms Fee, meanwhile, thanked Killarney Rotary Club and the public for their support, stating that it would help finance the poster and other initiatives, including the group's education and public awareness programme.
"We will be working with the Killarney Vinters' Association and other organisations to distribute the poster where it is needed," she said.
"There are some 24-hour emergency numbers and other numbers for support services working during office hours and dealing with specific problems," she added.
Some 5,000 posters will be distributed by Be Aware Prevent Suicide at a cost of almost €1,900 and those who would like to help with their distribution or contribute to cost should contact Deirdre Fee on 0862308788.
The 1Life Helpline National Freephone Number is 1800 24 7 100. South West Counselling, Killarney, is (064) 6636416.