Monday 21 January 2019

Charleville event to mark World Suicide Prevention Day '18

Bill Browne

The Charleville Suicide Awareness Project will hold a poignant ceremony in the town next Monday from 6.30pm to mark World Suicide Prevention Day. 

The event will commence with a walk in the Town Park passing the Tree of Hope and the park bench erected by the project. Participants will then make their way to the town plaza (in front of the library), where 200 balloons and five doves will be released in memory of those who have lost their lives to suicide. 

This will coincide with poetry readings, and locally based counsellor Mary Lynch will be on hand to inform people of the guidance services available to people in the locality. 

Representatives from the recently opened Aurora charity shop and centre in Mallow, which supports the Cork Mental Health Association, will also be present. 

The Mayor of County Cork, Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy; Cllr Ian Doyle; and members of the emergency services will also attend. The Charleville Suicide Awareness Project was founded in 2008 by local woman Margaret O'Callaghan, who tragically lost her son and brother to suicide. 

She said Monday's event was being staged in order to highlight the issue of suicide and to get the message across to people who may be considering taking their own lives that there is help out there. 

"Out motto is 'ask, listen and tell', three simple words with a huge amount of significance," said Margaret.

"We want people to know that there are groups in north Cork, like us and the Aurora, who are willing to listen to people with mental health issues and offer them the advice and help they so desperately need," she added. 

However, Margaret said that despite the presence of these groups, more needed to be done to help suicide prevention across towns and villages in Ireland. 

"Through next Monday's event we hope to get this message across to the powers that be that not enough is being done to tackle this problem and that more resources need to be allocated to suicide prevention." 

For more about the Charleville Suicide Awareness Project, visit their dedicated Facebook page.