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Booklet launched to combat "suicide crisis" and increase in rural isolation

Produced with Pieta House and the Irish Countrywomen’s Association, it is aimed at helping individuals to recognise the signs of suicidal behaviour.

Image: man in field via Shutterstock

THE LATEST IN a series of campaigns to help communities recognise suicidal behaviour and combat the “dramatic” increase in isolation in rural areas has been launched by Pieta House.

It’s hoped other campaigns by the group will reach over a million people by the end of the year.

Working with the Irish Countrywomen’s Association (ICA), the organisation has developed a booklet following on from the ICA’s participation in the Mind Your Buddy programme.

This consisted of setting up a system whereby individuals were taught to recognise suicidal behaviour among their friends.

The ICA will be distributing the booklet, aimed showing “members and their families on how to spot the signs of suicidal behaviour and how to seek help on behalf of those in crisis”, throughout its network in the coming week.

Joan Freeman, CEO and Founder of Pieta House, told TheJournal.ie that this kind of campaign is aimed at reaching out to those in rural areas.

“In those areas, many young people are moving to cities or emigrating, the people who are left behind are most isolated,” she said.

“A lot of parishes have lost their priests, a lot of pubs have closed. The isolation has become more dramatic”.

Freeman said they are reaching out to organisations, such as the GAA, who have “fingers in every part of the country”.

However, she said that other campaigns are targeting urban areas – “it’s everybody”.

“We’re hoping that by September we will have educated more than a million people.”

Liz Wall, President of the ICA, said the campaign was “very important” to her organisation.

“The ICA has a long history of working in the community and we are acutely aware of the suicide crisis in many rural areas around Ireland.”

Helplines:

  • Console 1800 201 890 – (suicide prevention, self-harm, bereavement)

  • Aware 1890 303 302 (depression, anxiety)

  • Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email mary@pieta.ie - (suicide, self-harm, bereavement)

  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)

  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

Read: Irish rugby players given suicide prevention training >

Opinion: There were days I struggled. I wished I could call in sick and not have to pretend >

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Nicky Ryan

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