Charleville Suicide Awareness Project, whose mission is ‘to educate, inform and support the community on the issue of suicide’, has focused on creating greater awareness of the supports available to the public to help promote better and more positive mental health. Over the past number of years, as well as facilitating a monthly suicide-bereaved support group, the project has facilitated a number of suicide awareness training programmes such as safeTALK, ASIST-Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, and Peer Support Education.

The Project is now offering another ‘safeTALK – a suicide awareness programme’ to community members on Saturday 16th February which will be run at the St. Vincent de Paul Centre, Bank Lane, Charleville, from 2.30pm to 5.30pm. This is a free talk and all are welcome.

Promoted and facilitated by the HSE, the safeTALK programme is a free, 3-hour introductory version of ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) for communities and the public and it aims to increase awareness of self-harm and suicide. Most persons with thoughts of suicide go unrec-ognised—even though most all are, directly or indirectly, requesting help. By attending this 3 hour course, participants will be in a better position to identify people who have thoughts of suicide and move beyond common tendencies to miss, dismiss or avoid suicide.

Expect to leave safeTALK more willing and able to perform an important helping role for persons with thoughts of suicide by applying the TALK steps (Tell, Ask, Listen and KeepSafe) and have the ability to activate a suicide alert and to link a person with suicidal thoughts to the appropriate suicide first-aid resources or with more specialised help.

With more suicide-alert helpers in the community, more people with thoughts of suicide will get connected to the intervention help they want. The safeTALK programme is the result of over twenty years of work at learning how to develop useful suicide prevention abilities in a short programme and is fully supported by the HSE. It is recommended that the safeTalk course is undertaken as a prior requirement to availing of the ASIST programme.

This course is free and there are some places still available. If you would like to participate on the safeTALK course, please contact Margaret O’Callaghan on tel. 086-3576109 for further information and to register.

Charleville Suicide Awareness Project is supported locally by Ballyhoura Development Ltd. and the HSE’s Turas Nua Mental Health Resource Centre.  

If you are feeling at risk of suicide, contact the 1Life 24-hour Suicide Prevention Helpline on tel. 1800 247 100, and consult with your local GP.