High Hopes Choir performed at Greek Street flats to mark World Suicide Prevention Day
Hundreds gathered at Greek Street flats in Dublin last night to mark World Suicide Prevention Day.
Residents lit up their homes using orange lightbulbs, which offered a powerful symbol of hope.
Around the country at 8pm last night, a number of iconic buildings turned orange, including Trinity College, Croke Park, Cork City Hall, Kilkenny Castle and Belfast City Hall.
Jenny O’Meara of Cycle Against Suicide explained the importance of the event.
“The objective was that communities all around the country will promote that it’s okay to talk and to get towns all around the island of Ireland encouraging that it is okay to ask for help,” she told Independent.ie.
“We just felt the community in Greek Street is so powerful. We had the High Hopes Choir singing as well and it was an incredible symbol of hope. The message is always that together, shoulder to shoulder we can overcome our difficulties.”
Cycle Against Suicide is an initiative started by Irish entrepreneur, Jim Breen. The main objective of the cycles organised by the charity is to raise awareness of the considerable help and supports that are available for anyone battling depression, self harm, at risk of suicide or those bereaved by suicide.
“We are actually in the car on the way to the final event of the week in Ardee,” he told Independent.ie.
“We’ve clocked up 3,400km cycling across the country this week. There was a great event in Belfast last night, similar to Greek Street. We had three youth groups, a total cross section of Northern Ireland communities – Catholics, Protestants and people from some of the most disadvantaged areas in Belfast.”
Mr Breen said he has been receiving messages from the High Hopes Choir since their performance last night, outlining how events like this are so much more relevant and important to them than big massive concerts.
Just last week, he was invited to sit on the first Youth Mental Health Taskforce.
He is now calling for all mental health organisations, communities and the Government to come together and tackle mental health.
“A lot more of joined up thinking required, I think we are slowly getting there. It is not as much an issue of funding as it is of people being smarter about their resources and how we use them,” he said.