Tuesday 25 June 2019

VIDEO: 'It seems like a dream, you'll wake up and it will be OK' - young man's tragic death inspires family's mental health fundraiser

Kathy Armstrong

Kathy Armstrong

An inspirational man has said that he wants to use the devastation caused by the death of his beloved brother to help others.

Adam O'Brien was heartbroken to lose his older brother Eoin to suicide almost five years ago.

Next month would have been Eoin's 30th birthday, and Adam plans to mark it with a fundraiser which he says will be a "celebration of his life" and a way to help others who are suffering from mental health issues.

Adam, who is from Kilmacud in Dublin, has opened up about the loss of his brother, saying: "Eoin was a very caring person who was big into his music, I loved sport and he hated sport but he still always played Fifa with me, he would always show an interest in me and was just a very caring kind of person.

"He was very open about his problems, like he attended St John of God's on and off for drug addiction, he also had epilepsy, so he had a lot of problems with seizures.

"I remember (on the day Eoin died) I was lying in bed at around five in the morning and I heard screams from my mum, at first I thought it was just Eoin having a seizure from epilepsy."

Since Eoin's death Adam (24) has raised money for mental health and suicide prevention and bereavement charity Pieta House, through initiatives such as Hell and Back and Cycle Against Suicide.

He has now planned 'A Night For Eoin', which will take place on November 4 in Whelan's main room in Dublin and comprises of a variety of musical acts, an MC and even magic.

Adam has spoken candidly about how trying to help others has helped with his own grief.

"Different people react in different ways, I think I was just in a little bit of shock about it, not knowing what's happening because you never experience anything like this - it seems like a dream and you'll wake up and things will be okay.

"Every day is a challenge and I'm not going to say I'm going to be fine like I was before, I always miss my brother but it gets less and less painful.

"I'm looking forward to November because of this event I'm hosting to celebrate his life but normally I dread it," Adam explained.

He continued to talk about the incredible work that Pieta House does.

He said: "I'm trying to raise funds for Pieta House, they're the ones who are unfortunately left picking up the pieces from the carnage when someone died by suicide.

"They're there to help also and intervene before someone takes their own life."

He added: "The main reason behind the night is to remember my brother but also to remember other people who have lost their battle with depression or are still suffering.

"This will not be a sad event, it will be a happy one and to continue the conversation around mental health problems."

Tickets for 'A Night For Eoin' are on sale on Whelans website or for more information or to donate please visit here

Video by Gerard Walsh film maker

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article please contact Samaritans helpline 116 123 or Aware helpline 1800 80 48 48 or Pieta House on 1800 247 247.

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