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23 May 2022

Support for you and those you love during this time

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Support for you and those you love during this time

Support for you and those you love during this time

The Resource Officers for Suicide Prevention in the HSE Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare Organisation Josephine Rigney and Eddie Ward are aware of the impacts of Covid-19 on people’s mental health - it is a worrying and anxious time, with many things happening outside our control.

What we can control though is recognising and being aware of our own feelings and reactions and responding to our individual needs whether these needs are emotional or physical. The next few weeks are likely to be busy and stressful so it is very important that we stay in tune and take good care of ourselves and each other if and when we need to. Take the time to eat healthily, make some time for exercise and relaxation, get out for a walk, connect with others and create and maintain social interactions in our lives with those who are dear to us.

At any time, any one of us can feel vulnerable and this is particularly true in a time of uncertainty such as now. It is reassuring to know that there is support available in this regard. We can get this support initially from our family members, close friends or colleagues and whilst it may take some courage to start a conversation and share how you are feeling, it is important that you give yourself the opportunity to know that people care and love you and you can then start to feel more hopeful about your future. Support is also available from the many organisations and services that are outlined below. Be assured that someone is always there to listen to you, all day, every day, 24 hours a day.

We can all make a difference to the lives of those around us and who we care about. If you are concerned or know that someone might be struggling to cope or is feeling distressed, find some space and time to sit and talk and be present with them. Use some open questions to help them to talk and tell them that you care about them. If they share things with you, listen – stay calm, be patient and kind. You don’t need to have all the answers or the solutions. It can be really valuable for a person just to know that they are heard and they are not alone at a difficult time. Advise them about the many services that are there to support them and if necessary, help them to make an initial call. If you would like to be more confident in your skills to support those you may be concerned about, a free 1½ hrs online training programme (LivingWorks Start) is available by contacting Josephine or Eddie through their contact details below. A 2hrs ‘Introduction to Self-Harm’ programme is also available.

Unfortunately, we may know someone who has been bereaved over the past year or so. A bereavement journey is not easy and some people may benefit from support with their grief. For those who have experienced bereavement through a suspected suicide, Pieta provide a support service for family members, friends and colleagues. This service is available in the Midlands from Bernie Carroll, email: bernie.carroll@pieta.ie; Mobile: 086 418 0088, and in Louth/Meath from Marian King, email: marian.king@pieta.ie; (Mobile: 085 738 0444). For bereavements from other causes, the National Bereavement Support Line is available from 10am – 1pm, Monday to Friday. The following services offer more specific information and support: www.hospicefoundation.ie; www.childhoodbereavement.ie; www.bereaved.ie; and www.barnardos.ie

Both Josephine and Eddie are aware that the pandemic, lockdowns and social distancing have all impacted on the way that their service interacts and make connections with individuals and communities, so they are keen to stress that the Resource Office for Suicide Prevention is available and they are always on hand to engage with people and organisations and assist with any concerns they may have. Information and details on all the local, regional and national supports and services that are available to provide a listening ear and assistance are outlined on www.connectingforlifemidlandslouthmeath.ie. Awareness and support leaflets with regard to suicide prevention, self-harm or bereavement are also available.

Contact details:

Josephine Rigney Eddie Ward,

Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention

Laois/Offaly, Louth/Meath and Longford/Westmeath

Email: josephine.rigney@hse.ie Email: eddie.ward@hse.ie

Mobile: 086 815 7850. Mobile: 086 380 1152.

WEBSITE: www.connectingforlifemidlandslouthmeath.ie 

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