From a small office in the town of Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim, the voluntary group STOP (Start Telling Others Prevent ) Suicide are dedicated to helping those who feel under such duress that they contemplate taking their own lives, as well as those who have been bereaved due to suicide.
Michelle Fox, the co-ordinator, works round the clock to ensure that those seeking help are linked with a free counsellor. The group has counsellors in every county in the northwest. “Last year, 15 people in the Sligo Leitrim area died by suicide,” she said. “This is the second highest rate in the country and an extremely sad statistic. We are committed to providing assistance in a number of ways. Firstly we offer free counselling sessions to those experiencing difficulties. This is solution based counselling and very focused work which can often get the very root of the issue and we work together to find achievable goals and coping skills for the future. It is entirely free to those who need it and we are so grateful to the many kind volunteers who raise money for the organisation, so that we can continue this work.”
Many of those fundraising for STOP suicide have had relatives or friends who died by suicide. On the first Thursday of every month, at 8pm, a facilitated bereavement group for those who have been affected by loss through suicide, meet at the Beepark Resource Centre in Manor hamilton.
Contact STOP Suicide on 087 777 2009 and 071 985 6070 northweststop @yahoo.ie