Last Saturday, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Dr John Connolly of the Irish Association of Suicidology formally launched the Living Links Tri Event in aid of Suicide Awareness in Mayo. The Living Links Tri Fundraiser is being held in conjunction with the Blacksod Point Challenge Triathlon in Belmullet on September 22, and is a Triathlon Ireland sanctioned national series race.
The Living Links Tri Event has been set up by John Maughan and Gerry Casey, with the support of Exposure, Elverys Sports, Kilmore Tri Club, Cox's Bars & Restaurants and Snap Mayo. The aim is to highlight the increase in suicide victims in the Mayo area and to support organisations dedicated to the prevention of suicide in our society and also the organisations who support people who have had to deal with a suicide in their lives.
There are approximately 400 deaths from suicide per year in Ireland at present. Medical research confirms that the vast majority of such deaths occur in people who have depression, or who suffer from other illnesses such as schizophrenia, panic attacks, or alcohol or drug problems. If these illnesses had been treated, such deaths might well have been prevented in a significant number of cases. For every death from suicide, it is estimated that there are 10-30 times as many attempted suicides or episodes of deliberate self-harm. People commit deliberate self-harm in an attempt to end their lives, but also in an attempt to simply seek oblivion or to be “out of it”. It must be remembered that those who have attempted suicide are much more at risk than the rest of the population of eventually repeating the act, but dying on the next attempt. This is particularly the case for males who have attempted suicide and remained alive. It is estimated that five per cent of such males will eventually die from suicide, and two per cent of women who have survived deliberate self-harm will eventually die from suicide.
The invitation has gone out to everyone to participate in this race by competing the course individually or as part of a relay team of three to run, swim and cycle the event. Each team or individual will be asked to raise money through sponsorship. Kilmore Triathlon Club who run the event have allowed this effort to raise money for this worthy cause. The Blacksod Point Challenge Triathlon is a real test of endurance that pushes participants to their limits. The combination of an open water Atlantic swim, a fast bike course and a run course that combines grass, sand and tarred surfaces with spectacular views of surrounding coastal terrain in one of the most beautiful parts of Mayo. For more information on this event or to see the training blog find Living Links on Facebook or follow them on twitter @ livinglinkstri or email [email protected].