Cork Samaritans have launched an initiative with GAA clubs in the city and county with the aim to help reduce the incidences of suicide in the area. The project has a focus of highlighting what what each person can do in order to help others who are in distress and despair.
Pio Fenton, Director of Cork Samaritans, states that this is a significant partnership in the fight to reduce suicide “The times we are living in are tough but it is important to remember that there is help out there for people that need it. This campaign is focused on empowering people working in communties so that they are aware of what options they have when they see someone in difficulty and how they can be confident in supporting that person themselves”.
This initiative has a number of strands to it. Packs have been sent by Samaritans to each club in Cork city and County containing posters and awareness information. There are also a number of support tools that would be useful. ”As well as this we have included a range of wallet sized cards intended for those working closely with younger people. These outline what can be done when it appears that someone may be distressed or despairing or maybe even suicidal” explains Pio Fenton.
GAA County Board Chairman, Gerry O Sullivan says that he believes this work to be extremely important “The work that Samaritans does is invaluable and we are very happy to work with them on this. This is an araea where the GAA has a vital role to play and we are glad to be involved.” Pio Fenton believes that the GAA is an organisation like no other with links in each community and it is sensible to team up explaining that together both organisations can complement each other. “Part of this initiative is aimed at not just giving information but also at training people in positions in clubs so that they can assist others. We have invited representatives from each club to a training event at our centre in Coach Street where they will explore ways to support young people in crisis or despair. Our main hope is to get people to realise that there are ways in which everyone can play their part.”
In situations where people are worried about others Mr. Fenton mentions that Samaritans can be contacted by anyone who is worried about others. “It is common for people that are worried about others to contact us to see if we can talk to this person. We often do this and it can be very useful. Our volunteers have been trained to handle situations like this so I think this is something that more people need to know about.”
Samaritans has 190 volunteers in Cork many of whom worked hard on getting this project to fruition. Samaritans hope that similars initiative can be rolled out amongst other associations and community groups across Cork in the coming months. Any organisations that would like to work with Samaritans can contact us at email@example.com or 021 4271323.
Samaritans can be contacted 24 hours a day every day at 1850 609090 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org