County councillor to address international conference on suicide

Galway county councillor Peter Roche is to address an upcoming major international conference on suicide, to be held in Dublin next week.

Cllr Roche will be addressing the Console World Suicide Prevention Day conference at Croke Park on the issue of suicide, the human experience.

Speakers from the US and Australia will join the Deputy Mayor of Galway County Council at the conference hosted by RTE’s Mary Kennedy and Minister Kathleen Lynch, on Friday September 7.

The conference, marking Console’s 10th anniversary, will focus on the role of the community in providing crisis support and suicide prevention and postvention services.

Tuam area county councillor Peter and his family tragically lost their son Colin to suicide a little over 18 months ago.

“Like many families before us, we were left devastated because of the choice that Colin made,” said Peter, who is a Console ambassador.

“Colin was an extremely popular and outgoing lad, talented at sport, music and singing. He was the life and soul of every party.

“Over the next weeks and months after someone takes their own life, you torture yourself over what has happened, why it has happened, and whether there were signs that we could have picked up on.

“Every parent in this situation wrecks themselves wondering what it is, right now, that you can do to make a difference.

“I wanted to play my part in reassuring others that there is a very definite alternative choice.

“I always say that suicide is a very permanent solution to the temporary problem.

“It is that temporary problem that Console is so effective at dealing with,” said Peter.

Console – the nationwide professional suicide prevention and bereavement charity – offers counselling services and 24-hour helpline support to people in crisis and those bereaved by suicide.

They offer professional human contact on a 24 hour a day, seven days a week basis in Galway, and has recently opened an outreach service in Swinford, Co Mayo.

Counselling is available for any individual, couples, families or children who have been affected by suicide, or contemplating suicide.

Community structure is the theme of this year’s conference, with speakers from the US and Australia detailing how they have set up pre and postvention structures across a range of organisations to provide that community for people in crisis.

Radio presenter Ray Darcy will also speak at the conference, which is of benefit to anyone working in a care-giving role or with a more general interest in suicide prevention and postvention.

The charity is also holding a Mayo Memorial Walk on Sunday September 16 from the Gateway Hotel, Swinford at 2pm (Details from Margaret Tierney 087 7978130 or [email protected] ).

Details of the conference booking are available on www.console.ie or by calling 01 610 2638.

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