A new resource for families and friends of people bereaved through suicide is now available in North Cork.
‘Lighting the Way North Cork – An information resource for people bereaved through suicide’ was launched in Mallow on Thursday 11th September, 2014 by Ms. Kathleen Lynch, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for Mental Health.
The new user friendly information booklet aims to improve the level of information and support in the community following a death by suicide. The pack was produced by the HSE North Cork Community Work Department in collaboration with the HSE Health Action Zone (HAZ) initiative, An Garda Siochana and other community and voluntary groups including Le Cheile Family Resource Centre, Fermoy Community Health Project, Travellers of North Cork, Look Out, Cloyne Diocesan Youth Services and Ballyhoura Development.
Lighting the Way’ contains useful information about the range of supports that can be accessed in the community in the aftermath of a suicide, how to make contact with services and what to expect when you do. The booklet lists national supports such as websites, helpline contact details along with other supports offered locally such as bereavement support groups and training around suicide awareness and prevention.
Welcoming the publication of the new resource, Brendan Scahill, HSE Community Worker for North Cork said, “We can now offer a solid resource pack to those on the front line who may need to provide support to family or friends of a loved one who has died by suicide. The pack will be used by the Gardaí, health professionals and others who are liaising with people bereaved by suicide. It will provide practical information about accessing supports locally and nationally and it will also be of benefit to other colleagues in the community as a signposting resource and information pack.
Launching the new resource, Ms. Kathleen Lynch T.D., Minister of State in the Department of Health with responsibility for Mental Health said, “The development of a user-friendly resource pack with identified supports, both local and national, for those bereaved through suicide as well as information on the process involved after the death is an excellent model of partnership in action. I am delighted the HSE Community Work Department, Health Action Zone (HAZ), An Garda Siochana and all the voluntary organizations have joined forces to help and support families who have been bereaved by suicide.”
Gretta Crowley, Operations Manager Cork Mental Health Services & Lead for Mental Health Services in HSE South said, “Although the effects of suicide on the bereaved can be similar to other forms of death, they can also differ in a number of ways. For the suicide bereaved, making sense of the death, coping with the feelings of rejections, anger, guilt and disbelief can be even greater issues. The most important factor in healing from a loss is having the support of other people. This directory identifies the choices people have within their Community to aid and assist them having been bereaved by suicide.”
Deputising as Mayor of County Cork, Cllr John Paul O’ Shea (Ind) said ” Today is a very special day for North Cork as we can now for the first time offer a resource pack to family, friends and communities of a loved one who has died by suicide. It is vital that we communicate with those bereaved through suicide and assist them in accessing the necessary supports that are widely available locally and nationally and this pack does that in spades. It also re-iterates the amount of support and help that is readily available for people who need it and this has been an issue where people bereaved by suicide do not know where to turn for help. From today, people who are bereaved by suicide will be guaranteed of this support with this resource pack and re-assured they are not alone”
Cllr. O’ Shea added “The pack not only guides people in the right direction for support and assistance during this very tough time but it also explains the processes involved for a family after a death by suicide. This is indeed very welcome as when a family tries so hard to deal with the unimaginable grief of losing a loved one, it is important that any queries they may have on the events following a death by suicide are available to them to read up on in the comfort of their home.
Suicide is one of the saddest events in human experience and it leaves devastation in its wake as relatives, friends and communities struggle with feelings of shock, loss and rejection. Suicide crosses many boundaries such of age, gender, religion, and whenever it happens, it represents a difficult time for everyone in that community. “The subject of suicide remains a major taboo in Irish society but as a result of today’s event, we as a community here in North Cork are beating this taboo and helping people to come to terms with suicide and the devastation and loss it brings to families and communities”.
The National Strategy for Action on Suicide Prevention Reach Out has outlined the development of a support resource for those bereaved through suicide is a very important one for families. Several local groups have raised concerns around the issue of availability and consistency in the dissemination of support information locally to those bereaved through suicide. A working group was formed with the aim of developing a support resource pack and ‘Lighting the Way – North Cork’ is the second in a series of three such information resource booklets for families and friends of people bereaved through suicide in Cork city and county. In April 2013, ‘Lighting the Way – Cork City’ was launched.
If you, or someone you know, is in crisis now and need someone to talk to call the Samaritans 24 hour listening service to talk to someone about what’s on your mind. Call 1850 60 90 90.