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Support to Overcome Suicide group set up in Elphin

from the Roscommon Herald

A COMMUNITY group has been established in the Elphin area with a view to increasing awareness of the issue of suicide.

SOS (Support to Overcome Suicide) is made up of members of the local community i.e. parents, members of the GAA, employers, local clergy, teachers, GPs as well as the Health Service Executive’s Public Health Nurses.

The aims of the group are to: increase awareness around the issue of suicide; provide information about suicide; support those affected by suicide and promote positive mental health.

Since the late 1980s the suicide rate in Ireland has grown steadily. Suicide is now the number one killer of young men. As a result of the increasing numbers of deaths by suicide in County Roscommon members of the Elphin community and service providers working in the area got together to respond.

The group recognised that suicide prevention was everybody’s responsibility.

They highlighted the importance of all community groups and statutory services working closely together to be more effective in reaching out and better coordinated in supporting the community.

The objectives of this group are to: develop information cards providing details of support groups and services.

These have been distributed to every house in the parish of Elphin and to set up a series of three information evenings to run on Wednesdays, January 18th, January 25th and on February 1st.

On January 18th Gareth O Callaghan (formerly of RTE) will talk about suicide in Ireland today; on January 25th spokesperson from S.T.O.P (Suicide Teach Organise Prevent a charity organisation set up in Dromahair, County Leitrim) will discuss how their community responded to suicide and support in the aftermath of a death by suicide and February 1st Dr. John Connolly (Irish Association of Suicidology) will speak about depression, alcohol, substance abuse and other contributors to suicide.

These information evenings have been organised in order to raise public awareness around suicide, and how to help members of the community recognise those who are at risk of suicide and encourage them to seek help. An event such as this will also try to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. These talks are open to the general public.

Admission is free of charge. Organisers hope you can attend one, two or ideally all three nights and that you will find the seminar of value.

The information evenings will be held in the Community Hall, New line Road, Elphin. They will start at 8 p.m. For further information, please contact Noel Collins at 086 1984252.

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