ORGANISERS of a public meeting to discuss the feasibility of setting up a suicide intervention and crisis centre in the west were very pleased with the show of support in the Harlequin Hotel on Wednesday last, in Castlebar.
The aim is to establish a Pieta House in Tuam, Co. Galway, that will serve the counties of Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.
The main speakers at the meeting were John Concannon, managing director of JFC, Tuam, who is driving the campaign in the west of Ireland, Joan Freeman, CEO and founder of Pieta House, who provided insights into the Pieta House successes to date, and Frankie Flynn, HSE psychologist.
“It was a very positive meeting. The support and willingness from people to establish a Pieta House in the west was obvious,” said John Concannon.
“On average, it will cost €250,000 annually to run Pieta House in the west. It may sound like a lot of money but with this cost shared amongst three counties there’s no doubt we will make it happen.
“Already several companies and individuals have made large donations to Pieta House, including one donation of €20,000 this week. We’re in talks with the HSE to secure a house located in Toghermore, Tuam.”
Pieta House’s vision is that no-one in Ireland should be more than 100 kilometres from a Pieta House centre where they can avail of the clinical services at that time of crisis.
“We’re very grateful to have John Concannon driving the campaign to bring a Pieta House to the west of Ireland. He is a champion of the west and he is shining a light on the issue of suicide in this part of the country,” said Ms. Freeman.
“Pieta House have a proven model of care for suicide intervention and our specially trained therapists are equipped to deal with people in crisis. Our unique clinically based model aims to reduce suicide by helping patients get through that critical phase when suicide becomes a plan rather than just an idea,” she said.
The support for Pieta House to establish a centre in the west is clear. Already this year, Ballinrobe Golf Club held a Gold Am Am, which was organised by Brendan Heneghan. Claremorris Golf Club will host the JFC Charity Golf Am Am on June 21 and 22. Castlebar Golf Club will also holding a Golf Am Am on August 9 and 10, and Belmullet and Roscommon golf clubs are organising theirs for later on in the year.
There will be another follow up meeting in Mayo in the coming weeks. For upcoming events and fundraising, please check www.pieta.ie or the Bring Pieta House West Facebook page.