Caring for Carrigtwohill Aims to Make Carrigtwohill a Suicide Safer Community

By Alan Sheehan

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Caring for Carrigtwohill was set up in March this year as a response to the deaths within the community of Carrigtwohill with the aim of increasing mental health awareness, to build resilience and to provide appropriate training to prevent suicide in the community.
Caring for Carrigtwohill wishes to build a community response to the challenge posed by suicide and to normalise the conversation around mental health so that people can seek appropriate support.
“Caring for Carrigtwohill was set up in response to critical incidents that happened in the community,” said Anne Desmond of Caring for Carrigtwohill. “We are a voluntary organisation and the initiative is run between a large number of local interested parties and the HSE is also involved in it. We are aiming to make Carrigtwohill a suicide safer community.”
The group includes a number of stakeholders in the community including, but not limited to, Saint Vincent de Paul, the Carrigtwohill Community Council, Carrigtwohill Family Resource Centre, Carrigtwohill Parish Council, Carrigtwohill Business Association schools such as St. Aloysius' College and Carrigtwohill Community College, the Parents Associations of Schools, sports clubs such as Carrigtwohill GAA and Carrigtwohill United AFC, and national groups such as the HSE and Tusla –Child and Family Agency, among others.
Caring for Carrigtwohill, in association with the suicide prevention group Breaking the Silence Cobh, are providing free suicide awareness training in the area through SafeTALK courses (suicide alertness for everyone). These courses are three hour alertness training that prepares anyone over 18, regardless of experience or training, to become a suicide alert helper.
“We run SafeTALK courses at the Carrigtowhill Resource Centre free of charge,” said Ms Desmond. “By the end of the month we will have trained up 130 in the community between the GAA and other local members. We hope to roll out the ASIST courses [Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training] in September. That is the next step up from SafeTALK and we will generate a list of those interested in ASIST from the SafeTALK courses.”
By the end of June Caring for Carrigtwohill, through Breaking the Silence Cobh, will have provided four SafeTALK training courses with the next scheduled for Saturday, 17 June. This course will be held at the Carrigtwohill Family Resource Centre from 10am-1pm and although it is free to attend, places are limited. To book a place text or call Ms Nessa Barrett on 086 787 1894.
If you or someone you know needs someone to talk to contact the Samaritans on 116 123. Pieta House in Cork can be contacted at 021 434 1400, while 1life, a 24 hour suicide prevention helpline and text message service, can be reached at 1-800-247-100. Also www.yourmentalhealth.ie offers a directory of mental health services.

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