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Suicide Awareness

Bright Light Beaming Through Clouds

In conjunction with our interview with Sinn Fein TD Aengus O’Snodaigh, I have compiled some information about suicide prevention in this article for you.

When someone takes their life they leave pain and heartbreak behind, one burning question may come up more and often and that is, why?

Unlike the famous song, suicide is not painless it leaves many broken lives in its wake. It is terrible tragedy for any person regardless of their age, race, or gender. Why would a person cut their life short?

Sometimes when people are down it is visible to those who care about them and it is vital that those who care about them, try and get them to talk, sometimes however, it may not be obvious that someone is suffering until it is too late. According to National Office of Suicide Prevention, in the year of 2009, there was 527 suicide cases reported this is the 5th highest rate in the EU. The trend was particularly stark amongst males under 35 years of age. If you have a problem, it is vital that you reach out to someone, be it a friend, family member or if not, a professional, they will not turn you away.

Recently a handbook was delivered to my house it was from one of the local TDs, Sinn Fein’s Aengus O’ Snodaigh. This booklets contained important information about suicide prevention. Listed below are possible signs of someone who could be at risk please make yourself informed and keep an eye out, you should not just presume someone else will take care of it.

What to look out for:
• Always talking or thinking about death
• Clinical depression — deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating — that gets worse
• Having a “death wish,” tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death such as driving fast or running red lights
• Losing interest in things one used to care about
• Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
• Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will
• Saying things like “it would be better if I wasn’t here” or “I want out”
• Sudden, unexpected switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy
• Talking about suicide or killing one’s self
• Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
• Putting themselves down, been very negative about themselves, or saying they are worthless
• Not all people may talk about their feelings so if you notice a loved one or a friend is slipping into a darken place speak with them. Let them know you are there and available to talk to, let them know you care, and that they are important to you. While you have them speaking, ask them would they like to get in contact with a doctor, if they agree and if they would like you to go with them. It’s also vital that you also seek help with the best way of helping your loved one or friend, there is plenty of help out there so do pick up a phone and make contact. Be honest with your friend, tell them you have been talking to this person, include them. If they are unhappy with you phoning for help, explain to them that they don’t have to give their name, and that you didn’t give them their name a lot of agents or prevention awareness groups will just listen and will also be happy to not press for a name.

Below are some useful numbers please print them out or perhaps give them to someone who may use or want them.

• 1 Life Suicide Helpline 1800-247-100 or text help to 51444
• Teen line Ireland 1800-833-634
• Aware low call 1890-303302 01-6617211
• Console Free phone 1800-201-890
• Turn to me online support forum
• Turning the tide on suicide
• Pieta house Ballyfermot Dublin 10 01-6200020 mobile 087-690-3236
• The National Suicide Bereavement Support Network Po Box 1, Youghal,Cork /

All the phone lines and organisations above are all charities some were set up especially like Teen-Line Ireland. This was set up by a lady who lost her son to suicide and they aim to help anybody, especially teenagers and young adults. Like all charities, they need our support to keep going, but don’t worry if you have no cash they will help you or a loved one most 1800 numbers are free, and some are low costs. Till next time, Alan.

IMAGE: Bright Light Beaming Through Clouds – image credit: Mike Pennington/

The Views of this Your Say! article do not necessarily represent the views of the Fountain Resource Group. If you agree with this contributor, or perhaps you disagree and would like to write a response, feel free to email us at to have your say!

Fountain News DigitalThis article was originally published in:
Fountain News Digital – December 2011 (Issue 7)

We are re-publishing all articles from our past newsletter, Fountain News Digital, and you can view all completed newsletters here. There were nine issues published in total between 2010 and 2012.

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