Free SafeTALK Course to be Held in My Place, Midleton in Late September

By Alan Sheehan

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My Place, Midleton will host a SafeTALK course at the end of this month on Saturday, 30 September.
The course is organised by the Health and Social Care service of the Midleton/Carrigtwohill Red Cross in association with Breaking the Silence Cobh, and will run from 10am until approximately 2pm. The course is fully certified and free of charge, though places are limited.
SafeTALK (Suicide Alertness for Everyone – Tell, Ask, Listen, Keep safe) is a half-day training programme that prepares participants to identify persons with thoughts of suicide and promote the immediate safety of such individuals by connecting them with suicide first aid resources.
This four-hour training programme is suitable for everyone over 18 years of age who wants to help prevent suicide and become suicide alert.
These suicide alertness skills are taught with the expectation that the people learning them will use them to help reduce suicide risk in their communities, and following a SafeTALK workshop participants should be more willing and able to perform an important helping role for persons with thoughts of suicide.
SafeTALK trains suicide alert helpers in moving beyond common tendencies to miss, dismiss or avoid signs of suicide, to help them identify people who have thoughts of suicide, and to apply the TALK steps to connect a person who has suicidal thoughts to people and agencies that can help.
Completion of SafeTALK training allows for further up-skilling through ASIST courses, which trains participants to reduce the immediate risk of a suicide and increase the support for a person at risk. The ASIST course, which is only available after completing SafeTALK, aims to better prepare participants to recognise invitations to help, reach out and offer support, review the risk of suicide, work with persons at risk to develop their safeplan and link with community resources.
Breaking the Silence Cobh is a group dedicated to offering free training programmes aimed at creating suicide safer communities. Before this SafeTALK course in Midleton, the group is holding an ASIST course in association with Caring for Carrigtwohill at the Carrigtwohill community centre on Friday, 22 and Saturday, 23 September. On Thursday, 12 October the group will run an Understanding Self Harm Awareness Training Programme in Cobh and within six weeks hopes to run SafeTALK training sessions for the staff of Cork hotels in conjunction with the Irish Hotels Federation.
Those interested in the SafeTALK course held in Midleton on 30 September should contact the Health & Social Care Midleton/Carrigtwohill Red Cross Facebook page or text 086-3974913.
If you or someone you know needs someone to talk to, contact the Samaritans on 116 123, while Pieta House in Cork can be contacted at 021 434 1400. 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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