Responding to Suicidal Crisis – Research, Policy and Practice in Ireland

In connection with World Suicide Prevention Day 2014 on Thursday, September 11th, the National Suicide Research Foundation and Cork Samaritans will explore the risk factors associated with suicidal crises and present evidence-based approaches to responding to crises. Minister Kathleen Lynch T.D. will be officially launching the Seminar at 2pm.If you would like to attend the Seminar, Workshop or both, please RSVP to Eimear Cusack (NSRF) at e.cusack@ucc.ie. Exploring the psycho-social, psychiatric and work-related  factors associated with suicidal crises and evidence-based approaches to responding to crises. Thursday, September 11th – Cork County Hall Light Lunch from 1.30pm  – Seminar 2pm — 5.15pm Exploring the implementation of guidelines for responding to clusters of suicidal behaviour. Registration required. Thursday, September 11th – G.08, Western Gateway Building, UCC Workshop 6.45pm — 8.30pm Click on the below images for more information:...

Cork Evening Echo Women’s Mini Marathon – September 2014

The Evening Echo Women’s Mini Marathon will take place in September in Cork. It is the biggest event of its kind in Munster. It has grown from its beginnings in 1980 with only 300 participants to over 10,000 participants in 2012. Whether you are a seasoned runner or on a get fit mission or you will be joining a group of friends to enjoy the walk, the Mini Marathon is suitable for everyone, with women choosing to run, jog or walk depending on their fitness level. For more information on the event visit here: www.eveningecho.ie/minimarathon If you would like to take part in aid of Cork Samaritans please register through the Evening Echo newspaper or online and then give us a call on 089 4307185 or email fundraising@corksamaritans.ie for a sponsorship pack including a...
116 123 – Our new freephone number

116 123 – Our new freephone number

Samaritans Ireland has launched a new free to call number – 116 123 – for people who are struggling to cope. The number will make it possible for people to access the service round the clock, every single day of the year, free of charge. The new free to call number has been made possible by a partnership between Samaritans and the telecommunications industry. Marking the launch of the number, Catherine Brogan, Executive Director of Samaritans Ireland, said: “It’s a really positive step to see the industry coming together be able to help vulnerable people in this way. We hope that knowing the call is free of charge will encourage more people who need us to contact Samaritans, in particular some of the most vulnerable groups in society. “eircom has always generously supported Samaritans’ lo-call helpline. The fact that the five other largest telecoms providers have joined with eircom to support our new free to call number is groundbreaking.” The six largest telecoms providers – BT Ireland, eircom Group, O2, Three, UPC and Vodafone Ireland – have committed to a two-year funding programme for the number. In 2007, the European Commission decided to reserve numbers beginning with 116 for services of social value that would be common across all EU member states. The number 116123 has been given for all 24 hour emotional support helplines. ComReg awarded Samaritans the 116123 number as it is the only organisation in Ireland already meeting and exceeding all of the minimum standards for these services. Speaking at the launch of the free to call number, Torlach Denihan, Director of Ibec’s Telecommunications and Internet...

Cork branch answers 40,000 calls a year

THE Cork branch of the Samaritans is the only one outside Dublin which operates on a 24/7 basis. It has 203 volunteers at present. There are 21 branches of the Samaritans in Ireland, north and south. The organisation’s remit is suicide prevention. The Cork branch opened its doors on Coach Street in September 1972. The organisation owns the building on Coach Street. Volunteers of all ages from college students, middle aged to retired people, answer up to 40,000 calls a year made to the branch. An outreach team of volunteers is also available to give talks to schools and other organisations on the importance of emotional health. The ethos of the organisation is to support people by listening, not telling callers what they should do about a particular issue. Volunteers aim to give “non-directive, non-interventionist listening”. The service is strictly non-denominational, with volunteers of all religions and none in the Cork branch. The organisation stresses on its website: “Every call and conversation is entirely confidential between the caller and the volunteer. We do not trace calls and never ask for a full name or...

Give children the gift of talking about their feelings

THE best thing you can teach your child is the ability to talk about their feelings. That is the message to parents from the director of the Cork branch of the Samaritans, Cindy O’Shea. Ms O’Shea, right, is urging parents to help provide their children with the necessary skill of talking so that when they get older, they will be well equipped to talk about any issues affecting them, instead of bottling them up. Each year, the Samaritans in Cork handle an average of 40,000 calls a year — translating into an average of 120 calls a day. She said: “An important message to get out to parents is the need to get their children to talk, talk, talk. They need to talk about their feelings.” Ms O’Shea said the Samaritans was traditionally an organisation which focused on suicide prevention. But she said the focus is now on getting people to talk before they reach the point of suicidal thoughts. “We need to get people to talk to us. No matter how small the problem is, it is important to us if you need to talk about it. “Every caller is the most important thing to us for the time they are talking to us. They are the most important thing in the world to us when they ring us and we are there 100% for them. “Life is worth talking about, and the emphasis here is on the word ‘life’.” People who ring the Samaritans often do so because they feel they have nobody to talk to about how they are feeling. In other cases, they feel they...

Prisoners to have access to ‘listener’ service

Inmates in Cork Prison will be trained to work as Samaritan volunteers to help fellow inmates through troubled times. The ‘Listener’ scheme will be set up in the Rathmore Road prison in the coming months, with inmates being selected within the next number of weeks for the programme. Prisoners will first have to be selected from an interview process held for inmates who express interest in becoming a “listener” for the scheme. The scheme is already in operation in prisons in Dublin and is also operated in each prison in the UK by the organisation. Cork Prison will be the first outside of Dublin to have such a service. Director of the Cork branch of the Samaritans Cindy O’Shea said: “We will train prisoners to listen to each other and we also go in once a week ourselves to talk to prisoners who need to talk to someone like us. The training of the prisoners will give them the skills to be Samaritans, or listeners, themselves.” She added: “There will be roughly one listener to 50 prisoners and any prisoner who needs to talk to someone will know they have somewhere to go.” Ms O’Shea said prisoners could feel very isolated and alone in prison, particularly if family members were going through hardship and they were not there to help them through it. She added: “Prisoners have been removed from their own local network and are institutionalised, in a way. They can feel very helpless in prison.” A special room will be assigned in Cork Prison for the Listener Scheme where inmates will be able to meet their designated listener to talk through...
Cork Samaritans Director honoured with a UCC Exceptional Citizen Award

Cork Samaritans Director honoured with a UCC Exceptional Citizen Award

UCC’s Selection Committee determined that Cindy should be honoured with an Exceptional Citizen Award on the basis of her outstanding contribution to the wider community, both locally and nationally, in particular her work in the area of mental health and suicide prevention. Cindy has maintained strong links with the voluntary and community sector in parallel with her work in UCC and provides inspirational leadership. Her service to the voluntary sector, including her current role as Director of Cork Samaritans and the establishment of a ‘Listener Scheme’ in Cork Prison, is exemplary. When asked how she felt about receiving such an honour Cindy replied – “I am delighted to receive this award on behalf of all Samaritan volunteers. It’s a wonderful affirmation of the work many committed people do in an organisation which has such a positive impact on people’s...
Run for us

Run for us

Working alongside the people of Cork since 1972 Cork Samaritans is a busy place, taking over 40,000 calls in 2012, with over 1000 drop in Callers. We are looking for your support to help raise awareness of our service so that together we can reduce the number of people dying by suicide. As Ireland’s largest provider of confidential emotional support Samaritans is looking for people to run or walk for us during this year’s Ladies’ mini-marathon. More than anything we hope that by wearing our bright green T-shirts you will help make others aware of that fact that there is always someone there when someone needs support.We know unfortunately that all too many people suffer in silence and we are there to provide non- judgemental, confidential support to those struggling to cope with difficult feelings. The Cork Branch of Samaritans is made up exclusively of volunteers. There are NO paid staff and we are a 100% voluntary charitable organization. All money donated to (and raised by us) is put immediately (and directly) into supporting our continued presence and service in Cork and Ireland. We need help raising some much needed funds to help secure our continued presence in Cork and continue our much needed support service for those who are struggling to deal with life’s issues, are depressed, in despair or suicidal. By running with us you can help make people you know aware of where they can turn to if they are going through a tough time. We are the only organisation of our type which is available 24 hours a day every day, 24 hours a day,...
Cork Samaritans Unveil Full Plans for 24/7 Event

Cork Samaritans Unveil Full Plans for 24/7 Event

The Cork branch of Samaritans has today launched its ‘24/7 Talk to Us’ campaign. Samaritans marks 24th July each year to highlight the fact that Samaritan volunteers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and each day of the year. This year, the organisation is highlighting the importance of talking as a measure to lessen stresses and problems that can contribute to poor mental health. Speaking at today’s launch, Cindy O’Shea, Director of Cork Samaritans, said: “Part of our message today is to let people know that Samaritans is here for anyone who wants to talk. People don’t have to be suicidal in order to make contact with us. It’s important that people talk about their problems and when things are getting them down. “In particularly, we’re sending a message to men that they should not hide their feelings or be reluctant to talk about problems. By ignoring problems, or not talking about them, the burden can increase and lead to much greater mental health problems, including a risk of suicide. “Samaritans provide a safe space for people to talk, and we’re available around the clock, every day of the year. Our services are highly professionalised but – unlike so many big, national organisations – they are delivered entirely by volunteers. Our volunteers undertake extensive training before they are permitted to take calls or meet with people who require emotional support. Following initial training, each one of our 200 volunteers in Cork commits to providing a minimum number of volunteer hours each month, and they must take part in continuous training. “The ‘24/7 Talk to Us’...
Cork Samaritans in the Marathon

Cork Samaritans in the Marathon

Volunteers from the Cork Samaritans took part in the 2013 Cork Marathon. Some of the volunteers walked/jogged/ran stages of the marathon whilst others handed our publicity materials on Patrick Street. A selection of photos from, the day can be seen below: [nggallery id=3]   You can still sponsor some of our runners/walkers by...