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Gorey Youth Needs Group places a ‘focus on living’ at event marking World Suicide Prevention Day

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Tara Fortune, Milly James and Isabelle Levingstone of 'Tic Tac Toe' performed at the World Suicide Prevention Day event at the Gorey Youth Needs Centre on Saturday. Pic: Jim Campbell

Tara Fortune, Milly James and Isabelle Levingstone of 'Tic Tac Toe' performed at the World Suicide Prevention Day event at the Gorey Youth Needs Centre on Saturday. Pic: Jim Campbell

Pictured at the World Suicide Prevention Day event at the Gorey Youth Needs Centre on Saturday were Adele Rapple, Karen Dunbar, Mandy Cregan, Lisa Johnston, Brenda O'Connor and Marii Kolomiiets. Pic: Jim Campbell

Pictured at the World Suicide Prevention Day event at the Gorey Youth Needs Centre on Saturday were Adele Rapple, Karen Dunbar, Mandy Cregan, Lisa Johnston, Brenda O'Connor and Marii Kolomiiets. Pic: Jim Campbell

At the World Suicide Prevention Day event at the Gorey Youth Needs Centre on Saturday were Dion Kelly, Oscar Cheung, Adam Boland and Adam Rooney. Pic: Jim Campbell

At the World Suicide Prevention Day event at the Gorey Youth Needs Centre on Saturday were Dion Kelly, Oscar Cheung, Adam Boland and Adam Rooney. Pic: Jim Campbell

Teresa Egan, Bernie Fortune and Celine O'Donnell attended the World Suicide Prevention Day event at the Gorey Youth Needs Centre on Saturday. Pic: Jim Campbell

Teresa Egan, Bernie Fortune and Celine O'Donnell attended the World Suicide Prevention Day event at the Gorey Youth Needs Centre on Saturday. Pic: Jim Campbell

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Tara Fortune, Milly James and Isabelle Levingstone of 'Tic Tac Toe' performed at the World Suicide Prevention Day event at the Gorey Youth Needs Centre on Saturday. Pic: Jim Campbell

goreyguardian

A community event with a ‘focus on living’ was organised by Gorey Youth Needs Group to mark World Suicide Prevention Day recently.

People of all ages gathered at the centre to participate in meditation sessions led by Eileen McGrath and enjoy music performed by a host of local artists. As suicide has affected many Gorey Youth Needs Group (GYNG) members, as well as the wider community, it was important for the youth service to mark the day, said CEO of GYNG, Mandi Tighe.

"We felt it was very important as a youth service to mark the occasion of World Suicide Prevention Day. Our community has been impacted by suicide in recent weeks and in our own organisation, some of our staff have recently attended funerals for previous members of GYNG. This has impacted the wider community so we felt it was very important to mark the occasion,” she said.

Rather than place a focus on suicide at the event, the group decided to place a ‘focus on living’. This was an idea coined by former GYNG staff member and meditation instructor, Eileen McGrath, who lost her own daughter to suicide.

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"We had a discussion and we really felt it was important to try to promote some positivity. We didn’t want to have a focus on suicide. We wanted to have a focus on living. There’s too much talk about depression, anxiety, coming into a recession, the cost of living crisis, all of this kind of thing. We didn’t want the day to focus on all of the negative things. We wanted to focus on something positive and we wanted the focus to be on living. That line came from Eileen and, as soon as she said it, we all said absolutely,” said Mandi.

The event gave young people the opportunity to connect with one another and have important conversations that they may not always have the opportunity to take part in, added Mandi.

"We couldn’t get the young people out of the music room. They were having such a great time, and would have stayed there playing music until 12 p.m. at night. To me, it was evident that this is what they need, this is what they want. They just need a safe space to be themselves, hang out, be creative, connect with other young people, and that’s what we are offering,” she continued. “The day was very much about connecting. Some of us had some really good conversations and we are looking forward to the future for other collaborations and initiatives.”


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