‘Lighting the Way’- an Information Resource for People Bereaved through Suicide.

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Lighting the Way came about as an idea which would be an answer to some local community concerns. These concerns at the time came from several community groups on the Northside of Cork City who were engaged with the Health Action Zone Project and Community Work Department of HSE in various ways and was supported through the National Officer for Suicide Prevention. These community concerns were focused on the issue of availability and consistency in the dissemination of support information locally to those bereaved through suicide. It was found that the same feeling existed in other areas and that a response to the issue of availability and consistency of support information could be developed with the formation of a representative local working group. The project that was proposed was the development of a resource booklet that could improve level of information and support knowledge out there in the community around supports available for those bereaved through suicide. This resource would contain a lot of local area information on supports coupled with National and Regional information on support services for those bereaved through suicide. The resource was named Light the Way and is now supported in its development through the NOSP and HSE Community Work Department along with many other community and voluntary sector services as well as through Connecting for Life Irelands new National Strategy to Reduce Suicide (2015 – 2020) How LTW is used and by whom:
• As a first response support that the Gardaí can leave with a family / individual after a suicide.
• By those bereaved through suicide in finding and accessing supports locally and nationally as well as information on the processes involved immediately after the suicide.
• For professionals and community services as a signposting resource and information pack.
LTW Art Piece
An integral part of every LTW has been the development of a unique art piece usually by a group identified locally and supported by an artist chosen to fit the group and art project itself. The development of the art piece enabled the inclusion through design elements the feelings of many of those bereaved. The incorporation of the LTW art pieces throughout the design of each resource booklet is a vital part of the development process.

To Date there are now:
• 4 different editions of LTW. The first was launch in 2013, the second in North Cork 2014 and Cork South edition launched in Nov 2015. LTW West Cork the most recent edition will be launched on Dec 8th 2016 • 4 LTW steering groups have been formed to develop each edition of LTW and these have been led/supported by HAZ and HSE Community Workers.
• Over 29 services have participated in the steering groups for 3 LTW publications with 2 community volunteers.
• 4 LTW art pieces have been developed entitled ‘Lighting the Way’, ‘Lantern of Hope’ and ‘Soon it will be Brighter’ and most recently ‘Through Sound and Light – Ritual’
• There will have been 4000 copies of LTW printed and distributed for use in communities by services and first responders after LTW West Cork launches.
Lighting the Way East Cork will be launched on November 22nd in Pairc Ui Chaoimh More detailed information around the framework for development of LTW please contact Joanne.mcnamara3@hse.ie

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