Galway company organises run for local suicide crisis centre

A local recruitment and human resources company is organising a charity run later this month in aid of a Galway suicide and self-harm crisis centre.

Collins McNicholas Recruitment and HR services group will hold the 250k charity event in aid of Pieta House on Friday November 28 at the Athlone Institute of Technology indoor athletics track.

The recruitment company’s staff nationwide have pledged to walk and run the distance to raise vital funds for the charity. To pledge a donation or get a donation card log on to www.mycharity.ie/event/collins_mcnicholass_event A fundraising table quiz will also be held at the Pucan Bar on Thursday next at 7.30pm, tables of four cost €40. The organisers are appealing to local companies to take part. They say it will be a fun filled event with table prizes, a raffle and finger food.

Colman Collins, the managing director of Collins McNicholas, says he is “honoured” to continue the company’s association with Pieta House for a second year.

“Pieta House is a charity that really resonates with people as it addresses what was until recently a huge unmet need in our society. Pieta House provides a service that is both caring and professional and a service which is wholly dependent on fundraising to maintain and grow the network of centres it has around Ireland.”

Referring to the charity’s annual Darkness to Light event he said it captured people’s imagination.

“This was evidenced by the massive turnout of people at all of the venues where this event took place earlier this year. It has helped raise awareness of Pieta House and its services. It has reduced the stigma that has traditionally been associated with depression and has been instrumental in encouraging more people to reach out for help rather than suffer in silence until life becomes too unbearable to continue on. Collins McNicholas hope our modest support will help Pieta House in its awareness building and in its continuing expansion in the coming year.”

Pieta House, which has a centre in Tuam, was founded by psychologist Joan Freeman. It opened in Lucan, Co Dublin in January 2006. There are now six Pieta House centres in Ballyfermot, Mungret in Limerick, Roscrea, Tuam, Bishopstown and Castleisland. It also has an outreach centre in Finglas.

It provides a professional, face-to-face, free therapeutic service for people in the acute stages of distress. The unique clinically-based model developed by Pieta House is used in all its centres. Pieta House’s primary aim is to reduce suicide by helping people get through that critical phase when suicide becomes a plan rather than an idea. Its aim is to have a centre within 100km of everyone in Ireland.

Speaking earlier this year at the official opening of Pieta House West Joan Freeman accused the Government of ignoring Ireland’s suicide crisis.

“At Pieta House, we are dealing with almost 60 new cases every week and each week another 10 people are dying by suicide. If the Government gave suicide the same attention and resources it gives to death on our roads, imagine the difference this would make to communities around Ireland.”

She described the subject of suicide as a “warm blanket used by politicians during the cold days of campaigning, only to be shrugged off when elected”.

Pieta House West in Tuam came about after an extensive two-year fundraising campaign across Galway, Roscommon and Mayo which raised in excess of €350,000.

The main driving force behind it was John Concannon, the Kilconly born founder of JFC Manufacturing in Tuam. He has factories in Ireland, the UK, Poland and South Africa. He was inspired by a visit to Pieta House in Lucan while filming RTÉ’s The Secret Millionaire. He went on to lead an extensive fundraising drive with fellow Tuam men Michael Ryder and John Joyce, and with the support of a dedicated fundraising committee.

“The opening of Pieta House West is the manifestation of what communities can achieve when they come together and work towards a common goal,” he said. “This huge effort really shows the commitment of a community at work in the three counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon. This centre will belong to the local people of the west of Ireland and they’ve put their money on the line to make it happen. There’s no class distinction with suicide and the doors of the Tuam Pieta House centre are open to everyone.”

The demand for its service continues to grow. As 90 per cent of the organisation’s money comes from public donations, fundraising is vital.

“Our one-to-one therapeutic services are provided free bridging a necessary gap in the existing mental health services in Ireland. Our core ethos is to provide a service that is client centred, rooted in compassion and care to those in acute distress. Since Pieta House West, Tuam, opened on 3rd December 2013 it has reached out to more than 170 people from Galway, Roscommon and Mayo.”

To contact Pieta House West telephone (093 ) 25586 or log on to www.pieta.ie

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