Pieta House Boss Visits Tralee And Listowel On Rickshaw Road-Trip

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Brian Higgins Listowel

Brian Higgins, CEO of Pieta House, takes Billy Keane for a spin on his rickshaw in Listowel on his tour of Ireland.

A CHARITY CEO is in the midst of a rickshaw road-trip across Ireland and took in visits to Tralee and Listowel on Monday.

Brian Higgins of Pieta House, the centre for the prevention of suicide and self-harm, set off from the original Pieta House in Lucan, on Wednesday, August 31 and will finish his epic trip on September 9, the day before World Suicide Prevention Day.

The aim of the journey is to raise awareness of – and to try and combat – the stigma that still surrounds suicide and self-harm.

He called into the Pieta House facility in Moyderwell on Monday morning where he met staff before setting off on the road again to Listowel where he met writer Billy Keane on his travels.

Brian came up with the idea of the Pieta Grand Tour’ as Pieta House is marking its 10th year, the organisation is about to open its 10th centre (in Waterford) and he’ll complete the feat in 10 days (10x10x10 = 1,000).

“Our vision is of a world where suicide, self-harm and stigma have been replaced by hope, self-care and acceptance,” said the Pieta House CEO. “In the last 10 years we have been brilliant at replacing suicide with hope and bringing people to self-care, but the biggest struggle for us is to replace stigma with acceptance.

“Individually, we all need to tackle the stigma that leads people to the doors of Pieta House. So the idea of the rickshaw came from the concept of creating a vehicle that allows people to talk about stigma and the pain that they feel. So I want people to journey in the rickshaw with me and tell me their stories

“The aim is to try and create a mechanism where we are more tolerant of each other. It’s a bit like the Jerry Springer catchphrase of `Look after yourselves. And each other.”

* For updates, check www.twitter.com/pietahouse #PietaGrandTour, http://pieta-grand-tour.everydayhero.do/ and www.facebook.com/pietahouse

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