Plan Launched To Help Prevent Lives Being Lost Through Suicide In Kerry

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Minister for Mental Health and Older People Helen McEntee launched Connecting for Life Kerry at IT Tralee today. Pictured at the launch were  Gerry Raleigh Director of the National Office Suicide Prevention, Minister for Mental Health and Older People Helen McEntee, Aileen Brosnan and Julieann Lane of the resource officers suicide prevention team. Photo by Domnick Walsh

MINISTER for Mental Health and Older People Helen McEntee today launched Connecting for Life Kerry, a four year plan which it’s hoped fewer lives will be lost through suicide.

The launch took place at IT Tralee and was attended by a large number of those involved in the drafting of the plan, including community and voluntary groups and members of the public from across Kerry.

The four-year plan runs from 2017 to 2020 inclusive, and its vision is a County Kerry where fewer lives are lost through suicide, and where communities and individuals are empowered to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

Continued below…


The development of Connecting for Life Kerry included extensive county-wide consultation with the public, community and voluntary organisations, public bodies and with health care professionals.

In total, 689 people took part in the consultation process. Five large public meetings took place in towns across the county; workshops were arranged with 12 targeted priority groups, a further 13 workshops took place with healthcare professionals and the public also had the opportunity to take part in surveys.

This extensive feedback then formed the basis for a set of actions which are the backbone of the plan – a summary of some of those actions is included below.

Some of the actions in the plan include:

• Working with local media to develop a regular slots on radio and in print for the promotion of positive mental health.
• Exploring the feasibility of developing a mobile unit with information on local services and supports.
• Looking at ways to support drop-in information points in local communities to direct those in need of support and help.
• Giving GPs and those working in primary care information on supports available in their areas.
• A local plan to increase awareness of training such as SafeTALK and ASIST.
• Delivering training in suicide prevention to agencies in contact with people vulnerable to or at risk of suicidal behaviour.
• Delivering campaigns from pre-school level onwards to promote a positive understanding of mental health and well-being.
• Community-based workshops on positive mental health and wellbeing for priority groups.
• A targeted campaign for young people in priority communities, in particular the Travelling community and LGBTI in order to increase awareness of the supports that are available.
• An examination of whether the Suicide Crisis Assessment Nurse (SCAN) service can be developed for Kerry.
• Gardai in Kerry will be further up-skilled to respond to suicidal behaviour and to those bereaved by suicide.
• An audit will take place of the means and locations across Kerry where suicide and attempted suicide has taken place. Preventative measures will be built-in eg lighting, signage and barriers. Crisis support numbers will be displayed at structures such as bridges, piers and life buoy stands.


One Comment

  1. Excellent work.