On Tuesday 17th of October Jim Daly TD, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, launched Connecting for Life Sligo and Leitrim Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2017 -2020 in the Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon. This local action plan is based on the same vision, goals, objectives and measurable outcomes as outlined in Connecting for Life, Ireland’s National Strategy to Reduce Suicide 2015 – 2020. Connecting for Life sets out a vision where fewer lives are lost through suicide, and where communities and individuals are empowered to improve their mental health and wellbeing.
Pictured at the launch (from left to right): Tomas Murphy (Chair of Sligo and Leitrim Suicide Prevention Steering Group, and Area Director of Mental Health Nursing, Sligo/Leitrim), Jim Daly T.D. (Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People), John Meehan (Assistant National Director, Head of National Office for Suicide Prevention, HSE mental Health Division), Teresa Dykes (Acting Head of Service for Mental Health, CHO 1), Breifne Earley.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Daly commented;
“This Sligo and Leitrim suicide prevention plan sets out a roadmap to address suicide and self-harm. It is important that we all continue to work together, at all levels, to identify people at risk and to ensure that appropriate services are in place to provide the help and support needed. If we do this, I believe that we will achieve our goal of fewer lives lost to suicide.”
Breifne Earley, speaking from personal experience said;
“There isn't a single family or community in the counties of Sligo or Leitrim who haven't been touched, in some way by suicide or mental health issues over the years. The implementation of this new strategic plan for the counties of Sligo and Leitrim will create an environment to help fight this silent killer, allow people who are suffering in secret to seek help and attempt to reduce the number of our loved ones we lose each and every year.”
Tomas Murphy, Area Director of Mental Health Nursing Sligo/Leitrim and Chair of the Sligo Leitrim Suicide Prevention Steering Group said;
“The development of an interagency steering group was instrumental in the delivery of this project. I am very grateful for the time and commitment that so many people gave in the delivery of our suicide reduction plan for the counties of Sligo and Leitrim. From the onset, many stakeholders including the Garda, VEC, St Angela’s College, GAA, HSE and numerous voluntary organisations sat at the table in the planning and delivery of key milestones."
"To ensure that the county plans met the needs of all communities, a consultation process ensued, whereby opinions and ideas were gathered through a variety of methods including public meetings, focus groups, facilitated workshops and postcard and online survey submissions. The broad selection of mechanisms employed to engage with the general public and specific target groups allowed the steering group to capture the thoughts and feelings of a wide cross-section of our community. These ideas are reflected within many specific actions and plans which are laid out within our Connecting For Life Plan and aim to address suicide reduction within our counties”.
Pictured at the launch (from left to right): Mark O’Callaghan (Principal Psychologist Manager), Thomás Mc Bride (Acting Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention / Mental Health Promotion), Jim Daly T.D. (Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People), Teresa Dykes (Acting Head of Service for Mental Health, CHO 1), Denis O’Brien (Assistant Director of Mental Health Nursing), Martin Jones (Team Co-ordinator).
There have been significant developments in Sligo and Leitrim in the area of suicide prevention over the past two years. Since the beginning of 2016, a range of suicide prevention training programmes were delivered resulting in 504 people receiving training in safeTALK (suicide alertness training), 333 people trained in ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) and 106 people training in Understanding Self-Harm. Further staff have been trained locally to increase capacity to deliver these courses to those who need them.
Other recent developments include the employment of a Clinical Nurse Specialist, specifically for Self Harm presentations in the Emergency Department of Sligo University Hospital. The Mental Health Service has also developed a Psychiatric Liaison Team providing consultation to the ED and wider Hospital setting 7 days a week from the hours of 8am-8pm. Within the wider community settings, Sligo/Leitrim Mental Health service have developed 7 day services which are aligned to Primary Care Centre of Manorhamilton, Carrick-on-Shannon, Ballymote and Sligo Town.
John Meehan, Assistant National Director, Head of National Office for Suicide Prevention, HSE Mental Health Division said;
“Local implementation, that includes empowering communities, is a core component of the Connecting for Life strategy. We need to connect with ourselves, our families, our communities and the services on offer. Connecting for Life Sligo and Leitrim has been led by the HSE but developed in partnership with key local statutory and non-statutory groups. The result is a new plan, which sets out the steps many different organisations, including the HSE, will take to realise the vision of a region where fewer lives are lost through suicide.”
The Minister concluded by thanking all those involved, “The plan launched today is the result of the hard work of a huge number of individuals, community groups, statutory and non-government agencies, working together to promote positive mental health. I congratulate all involved in the creation of this plan.”
Pictured at the launch, members of Sligo and Leitrim Suicide Prevention Steering and Working Groups.
For more information on Connecting for Life in Sligo and Leitrim, contact: Thomás Mc Bride, Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention, Sligo/Leitrim, HSE CHO Area 1, email@example.com.
Media queries to Amanda Murray, HSE Communications Officer CHO1, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find Support in Sligo and Leitrim
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.
Caredoc (0818 365 399) Sligo, North Leitrim & West Cavan
NoWDOC (1850 400 911) South Leitrim, Roscommon
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 Sligo and Leitrim, 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 20th October 2017.