The Minister of State with special responsibility for Mental Health Helen McEntee TD launched Connecting for Life South Tipperary on 28th April 2017. This local suicide prevention and self-harm action plan mirrors the wider national cross-sectoral strategy: Connecting for Life, Ireland’s National Strategy to Reduce Suicide 2015-2020.
Facilitated by the HSE, Connecting for Life South Tipperary is the result of a comprehensive process of consultation and engagement. It involved the people of South Tipperary and those who provide services to them, developing a roadmap to address suicide and self-harm in the area from now until 2020.
Speaking at the official launch of Connecting for Life South Tipperary at The Main Guard Building in Clonmel, Minister McEntee said:
“Each part of the country has developed its own suicide prevention and self-harm plan, linked to the national Connecting for Life strategy. There has been a very collaborative process here in South Tipp and I would like to congratulate all those involved. I’m delighted to launch the South Tipp plan, which reflects accountability and is responsive, evidence based and adaptive to change over its five year implementation period. Following on from publication earlier this week of the similar “Connecting for Life Mid West” plan applicable to North Tipperary, “Connecting for Life South Tipperary” 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. It's important that we all work together now to ensure the plan is implemented in full.”
The HSE facilitated process brought together a steering group from across South Tipperary and a consultation process followed, which included public forums featuring in-depth discussions reflective of the complex issues that are suicide and self-harm. Minister McEntee was joined at the launch in Clonmel by Tracy Nugent (Regional Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention, HSE South East Community Healthcare Organisation Area), Ronnie Corbett (Independent Chair of South Tipperary Suicide Prevention Planning Group), representatives from local authorities, the Gardaí, and various voluntary agencies and community groups.
The audience at the launch also included local public representatives, the South Tipperary Consumer Panel for Mental Health Services (who are a group of service users that work with the HSE towards the improvement of services and also offer peer support), people bereaved by suicide and those from South Tipp communities who contributed during public meetings, focus groups and through submissions to the formation of the local action plan.
Speaking at the launch, Mr Gerry Raleigh (Director of the HSE’s National Office for Suicide Prevention) said:
“Local implementation and 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 that are on offer. Connecting for Life South Tipperary has been led by the HSE but developed in partnership with a multi-agency planning group. The result is a new plan, which details the actions that various organisations – including the HSE – will implement to realise the vision of a county where fewer lives are lost through suicide.”
Addressing the audience, Ms Liz Kinsella (Head of Service, HSE Mental Health in the South East Community Healthcare Organisation Area) said:
“Suicide prevention is everyone’s concern. Looking after our mental health is a cornerstone of improving the health of our people. It is as important as physical health. Throughout the health services, we have been putting structures in place to try to ensure that people get the right type of help and look forward to this plan establishing better understanding of suicidal behaviour and to support communities to prevent and respond.”
Also speaking at the launch was Ms Kelley Lee (Member of South Tipperary Suicide Prevention Planning Group and South Tipperary Consumer Panel for Mental Health), who said:
“South Tipperary has a rate of suicide that is higher than the national average. There is no part of our area that has not been affected. There is a sense of isolation for many. Our consultation process was able to look at that in addition to feedback from priority groups like young people, the LGBTI community, the Traveller community, mental health service users, those living in rural isolation and those affected by drug/alcohol use to name but a few. I am looking forward to the plan building and acting on what has been learned.”
For more information on the development and implementation of Connecting for Life - South Tipperary contact:
- Tracy Nugent, Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention, HSE CHO Area 5 firstname.lastname@example.org or 051 874013.
Find Support in South Tipperary
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 (1850 334 999), covers the South East, 6pm-8am weekdays and 24 hours on weekends/bank holidays.
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 South Tipperary, and information on what to do when someone tells you they are suicidal or at risk of self harm.
Bereavement Support and Information for South Tipperary