Unfortunately, over the past number of years many people in Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath, Louth and Meath have been affected by suicide directly, or indirectly - this has had a devastating effect on families and the community.
Connecting for Life is Ireland's National Strategy to Reduce Suicide, 2015-2020. The vision of Connecting for Life is "an Ireland where fewer lives are lost through suicide and where communities and individuals are empowered to improve their mental health and wellbeing". Connecting for Life sets out the actions that will be taken to reduce suicide and self-harm in Ireland over this five year period and the expected outcomes from the implementation of these actions.
The specific goals of Connecting for Life are:
- To facilitate a better understanding of suicidal behaviour, mental health and wellbeing.
- To supporting communities capacity to prevent and respond to suicidal behaviour.
- To target approaches to reduce suicidal behaviour and improve mental health amongst those vulnerable to suicide.
- To enhance accessibility, consistency, care pathways and integration of services for people vulnerable to suicide behaviour.
- To ensure safe and high quality services for people vulnerable to suicide.
- To reduce and restrict access to means of suicidal behaviour.
- To improve surveillance, evaluation and high quality research relating to suicidal behaviour.
The HSE, in partnership with community, voluntary and statutory organisations, is now seeking to develop a Regional Suicide Prevention Action Plan for the counties of Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath, Louth and Meath. This will be based on the same vision, goals, objectives and measurable outcomes as the national strategy as outlined above.
Although a lot of work is being done and is ongoing from individuals, groups and organisations, there is still more that can be done to promote good mental health, prevent future suicide deaths and support those who are bereaved by suicide. Therefore, a key part of the development of the Regional Suicide Prevention Action Plan, is providing an opportunity for as many people as possible to have their say regarding what should be included.
An extensive consultation process will be undertaken in the preparation of the Regional Suicide Prevention Action Plan. A variety of interest groups and relevant service providers will be consulted with. The objectives of the engagement and consultation process in developing the Regional Suicide Prevention Action Plan are as follows:
- To raise awareness of the aim of the development of the Regional Suicide Prevention Action Plan and to begin or continue a public conversation that will support the way people think about mental health and suicide prevention.
- To hear and gather the views of individuals, community and voluntary groups and statutory agencies throughout Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath, Louth and Meath on how to promote mental health and wellbeing and reduce suicide and self-harm.
- To identify the priority areas for action in reducing suicide and self-harm.
- To establish what is working and not working for people in maintaining good mental health and to seek views on what actions can be taken to improve mental health and wellbeing.
The consultation process will take place during the month of October 2017 and there are a number of ways in which people can get involved and contribute their knowledge and expertise to this challenging issue.
- Complete a Postcard - Postcards will be distributed widely throughout the various counties in Libraries, Health Centres, Hospital waiting areas, public service centres, Family Resource Centres, etc. We would ask you to complete the short questions on the postcards and return them via the return boxes provided.
- Take Part in an Online Survey - An online survey will be compiled and placed on this website for completion. A survey for service providers will also be compiled. We would appreciate if you could complete this short survey. A paper copy of the survey can also be obtained by downloading a copy of by contacting your local Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention for the county you live in:
- Louth, Meath: Sandra Okome (087 1321344)
- Longford, Westmeath: Eddie Ward (043 3350169 or 086 3801152)
- Laois, Offaly: Josephine Rigney (057 9327837 or 086 8157850)
- Attend a Group Meeting - Specific focus groups/meetings will be scheduled for particular groups such as young people, Travellers, members of the LGBTI community, mental health service users and people bereaved by suicide.
We would be very grateful for your contribution and suggestions. Your input could make a difference to your local community, family and friends.
The main outcome of the development of the Regional Suicide Prevention Action Plan for Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath, Louth and Meath is:
- A reduced suicide rate in the whole population and among specified priority groups
- Reduced rate of presentations of self-harm in the whole population and among specified population groups.
Watch this space for more information!
Find Support in Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath, Louth & Meath
Your local GP
Find a local family doctor (GP) or health centre by visiting the HSE.ie online service finder. GPs are also listed under 'General Practitioners' in the Golden Pages.
GP Out of Hours Services
If it's late in the evening, night time or the weekend, you can contact a GP out of hours service.
MI Doc (Laois, Offaly, Longford & Westmeath 1850 302 702).
NEDoc (Louth, Meath 1850 777 911).
Hospital Emergency Services
Hospitals are listed on the HSE.ie online service finder. You can also contact the emergency services by calling 999 or 112 if you or someone else has harmed themselves or taken an overdose.
HSE Mental Health Services
If you have been (or are currently) supported by a mental health team, go to the Emergency Department or contact the service you are attending and ask for an appointment as soon as possible.
For confidential, non-judgemental support, the Samaritans are free to call, anytime day or night on 116 123 in the Republic of Ireland.
Visit yourmentalhealth.ie to search for supports in Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath, Louth and Meath and information on what to do when someone tells you they are suicidal or at risk of self harm.
This page was last updated on 1st August 2017.