Community approach to combating suicide

Kathleen Lynch Minister of State for Disability, Equality and Mental Health pictured with Bobby Cody during her visit to the Fr McGrath Family Resource Centre last Tuesday afternoon. Photo: Pat Moore.
Junior Minister for Health with responsibility for Mental Health and Disability, Kathleen Lynch recently met with community groups who have been actively working together on the County Kikenny Action Plan for Suicide Prevention.

Junior Minister for Health with responsibility for Mental Health and Disability, Kathleen Lynch recently met with community groups who have been actively working together on the County Kikenny Action Plan for Suicide Prevention.

The Minister visited Tuiscint Acute Day Services Centre in St Canice’s Hospital, as well as with the HSE Psychiatric Services, LINK UP and the Consumer Panel and also met with a number of youth groups which included, Ossory Youth, Comhairle na nOg and Foroige.

“The approach being taken, incorporates a number of agencies coming together to develop an action plan around suicide prevention. Central to this, is the development of a wide range of community based mental health services in order to provide access to treatment and support for people closer to their own homes as well as the closure of old long stay institutional type facilities,” said Deputy Ann Phelan who accompanied the Minister on her visit.

Padraig McMorrow also gave a presentation to the Minister on the work of Kilkenny Bereavement Support Services and the vital work that their volunteers are doing to support not just families bereaved by loss but families grieving the loss of a loved one through suicide. Minister Lynch also visited Flipside Studios, the brainchild of Andrew Small and the people at SOS Workshops in Kilkenny. Its objective is to create a shared space for people of all abilities to create art, music and to meditate.

She also visited the Fr McGrath Centre where she saw firsthand the community development approach to mental health; Men’s Development Network, Men’s Shed and other initiatives supported by the Fr McGrath Centre.