Young people to walk against suicide in Mitchelstown
When a young person dies by suicide, people don't know what do to, where to turn to or how to react and a group of young people from Mitchelstown who are grieving the loss of a friend have taken a really positive step, by organising a walk in the town to raise awareness about suicide.
The walk will take place on Sunday, December 1, starting in New Square at 1pm and sponsorship cards are available in most local businesses, so that people can donate money towards local suicide awareness projects, if they wish, at their own discretion.
Ailbe Coleman who works with the Mitchelstown Youth Cafe and is also a youth worker with Foroige and Orla O'Shea, a youth and drugs worker, have been working with the young people to facilitate the walk. Ailbe explained that when Luke Hammond took his own life in September, it had a profound effect on his friends, school mates and those who knew him.
"There was nothing there for them in that time of need after Luke's death and they wanted to do something to raise awareness about suicide and what kind of supports and services there are for people who might need them," he said.
He said that the young people have spent about a month organising the event and that support from the town, businesses and the Gardai has been very good and everyone has done what they can to make sure that this is a positive and successful event.
Those who decide to take part in the walk will be walking the bypass route at 1pm and Ailbe said that the talk given this week by Ger Rynne of Console, organised by community drugs worker Mary Mackesy, also tied in very well with the walk on this weekend.
Those who organised the walk call themselves LUKE'S TEAM, which is a tribute to Luke, but it also stands for 'Let Us Keep Everyone Safe Through Every Anxious Moment' and it is a way to reach out to anyone who is having suicidal thoughts and to support those who have lost someone they loved to suicide.
Speaking to The Avondhu, one of the organisers, Rebecca Macken said that they just wanted to do something and if they raise money towards suicide awareness and education in Mitchelstown, that will be a bonus.
"When Luke died, we had no support and we set up the group to support each other, because it was a way for us to get together and meet up with other people who were feeling the same way we were. We wanted to do something and a walk was a way that would get people out and about.
"Suicide is something which has affected everyone at some point and this is the second young person in two years from the town to have taken their own lives," Rebecca said.
She added that if someone dies in an accident, there is nothing that anyone could have done to stop it, but depression is something that can be addressed, so they are hoping that by raising awareness, they might reach out to some people and if they can help just one person, then it will have been worthwhile.
All are welcome to attend and support the walk on Sunday and all help and support would be greatly appreciated.
If you or anyone you know are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, there are a number of services and supports out there to help. Aware 1890 303302, Childline 1800 666666, Console 1 Life 1800 247100, Pieta House 01 6010000 or visit www.pieta.ie, North Cork Mental Health Services 021 4821411 and Samaritans 1850 609090.
Friday 29th November 8:52am