Cork Samaritans Prison Listening Team win overall Lord Mayor’s Voluntary & Community Award

THE Cork Samaritans Prison Listening Team said that winning the Lord Mayor’s Voluntary & Community Award this week is validation for the work their organisation carries out. Of the 65 nominated organisations across the city, the Samaritans won the overall awards for the work they do with prisoners to reduce instances of suicide and self-harm which are at much higher levels in prison than in the general population. Hundreds of voluntary workers attended the annual ceremony in City Hall on Thursday night sponsored by the Evening Echo. Presenting the awards, the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Mary Shields, said the ceremony was about giving recognition to the people being honoured. We are so grateful for your contributions which have enriched the lives of those around you. You are incredible role models for future generations, and I would like to say thank you on behalf of Cork City Council for everyone you have helped. Commenting after the ceremony, Director of Cork Samaritans, Cindy O’Shea said they were absolutely delighted to win the overall award. It is a great tribute to all of our work and to the prisoners who listen to people, she said. It’s new for us. We have been doing it for the last 18 months but it is extremely important, both to us and to the Prison and it has really made a difference to the lives of the prisoners up there. Tom Foster, the Assistant Governor of Cork Prison, also joined Mrs O’Shea to accept the award. We are delighted with the award and we thank the Lord Mayor and her team. The Samaritans do a...

Volunteers in Cork answered over 48,000 calls for help last year

  Last year, 196 Samaritans volunteers from the Cork branch answered 48,664 calls for help, according to the latest figures released by the national charity. Overall in the Republic of Ireland, 1,664 volunteers in Ireland answered 472,968 calls for help*. The figures are being released to coincide with National Volunteering Week which runs from 11-17 May. Samaritans is taking this opportunity to say a very big “thank you” to the generous volunteers who provide the round-the-clock service. This year volunteers have been busier than ever, as calls to the charity have increased by over 50% since Samaritans launched a new free to call number – 116 123 – in the Republic of Ireland. Samaritans is calling for new volunteers to step forward as part of National Volunteering Week to help respond to the increased demand for the service. Samaritans’ volunteers are ordinary people, who provide a safe and confidential place to talk. When someone contacts Samaritans, they can be themselves – there is no judgment. Volunteers do a great deal, both in terms of answering calls, emails and texts as well as outreach work. They allow people the space to open up about whatever it is that is making it hard for them to cope. Cork is involved in many areas of outreach work where individuals may not otherwise have access to the service.  One such example was the recent establishment of our ‘Listener’ scheme in Cork prison where we trained prisoners to be listeners to their fellow inmates. We also work in schools, colleges and community groups and work specifically with high risk groups such as men and...

Modern Mental Health & Living’ Lecture

Join us for a public lecture on ‘Modern Mental Health & Living’. Our guest speaker is Fergus Heffernan and he will be speaking about ‘Modern Mental Health & Living’. Fergus has spent much of the past 33 years working with the Irish Defence Forces, the United Nations and NATO based in New York. He has worked with soldiers and their families in Theatre of War locations from Afghanistan, to Iraq, from Central Africa to East Timor, from The Balkans to the Middle East. He is a visiting lecturer and Workshop Director in Trinity College Dublin, Columbia University New York, and Boston University USA. He recently said at a lecture in Kilkenny: Most of us are lost in life because we do not have a flight plan, a sense of destination. When a pilot leaves Dublin Airport he always gets to his destination because he has a flight plan. The flight plan always for emergencies on route, for unexpected happenings on route, but whatever happens he can always come back to the flight plan, and 99% of the time he always arrives at his destination safely. We to should have a Flight Plan. Have a plan for each day. Write it down , commit to it. Your plan for each day should include : A time to work, a time to play, a time to pray (or meditate), a time to exercise, a time to talk, a time to breathe. We really need to do this because we are all on autopilot and without a plan we have become lost and subsequently we are the sickest generation ( both physically...

Cork Samaritans to hold a Firewalk as a symbolic gesture signifying Samaritans availability

Cork Samaritans will hold a Firewalk on Friday 30th of January at 8pm in the Ambassador Hotel, Military Hill. 45 enthusiastic volunteers, family & friends will walk across the hot coals as a symbolic gesture signifying Samaritans availability and willingness to support anyone going through challenging and difficult times. We will be there for people, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to listen to their stories, no matter what is going on for them. For many of our callers January & February can be a tough time, it’s a bleak time of the year. The post Christmas slump affects everyone and at this time of the month Christmas bills begin to land on doorsteps. People can be very stressed and find it difficult to cope. We want people to know that our volunteers will be available round the clock, for anyone who is struggling. We’re there to listen and to support callers, whatever their circumstances. According to Samaritan Irelands Impact Report, Launched in December 2014 , over 478,200 calls came to the National helpline, almost 12,000 emails and over 8,000 texts were answered by Samaritans volunteers. The Cork Branch answered almost 50,000 calls in 2014. There were also just under 8,700 face to face visits to Samaritans branches across the Republic. The Cork branch received 1,100 of these. Samaritans received an average of 1,310 daily contacts in the year to October — an increase of 266 calls a day compared to the previous 12 months. The numbers of calls have increased by 52% since the launch of Freecall (116 123) in March, with particular increases in Quarters...

NSRF and Cork Samaritans to Co-host Free Suicidal Crisis Event

          In connection with World Suicide Prevention Day 2014, The National Suicide Research Foundation and Cork Samaritans are co-hosting a free event on Thursday, September 11th from 2pm – 5.30pm. The “Responding to Suicidal Crisis – Research, Policy and Practice in Ireland” Seminar takes place in the Corcaigh Suite, Cork County Hall, Carrigrohane Road. The event is free to attend and all are welcome. The Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Mary Shields and the Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, Older People, Equality and Mental Health, Minister Kathleen Lynch TD will be in attendance. Every year, approximately 550 people die by suicide in Ireland. A suicidal crisis is a time-limited occurrence, lasting hours or days, whereby a person is at acute risk, namely, seriously considering harming him/herself or taking his/her own life. It is considered a medical emergency. Effective intervention for those in crisis is a key component of suicide prevention. Cindy O’ Shea, Director of Cork Samaritans will be presenting on the community services that Samaritans offers and states that “Cork Samaritans are very pleased to be collaborating with the National Suicide Research Foundation on this Conference to mark World Suicide Prevention Day. The importance of connected thinking and shared expertise cannot be underestimated and by working together we can truly address suicide as a cross community issue.” Eileen Williamson, Executive Director at the National Suicide Research Foundation states that: “The National Suicide Research Foundation welcomes the opportunity of collaborating with Cork Samaritans in offering to the public this seminar on Responding to Suicide Crisis. The seminar is being held in connection with World...