A charity for the prevention of suicide and self-harm opens a centre in Cork today in a bid to reduce suicide levels in the region.
Pieta Cork, located in a former convent in the western city suburb of Bishopstown, provides a free service to people who feel acutely suicidal, without the need to attend a doctor.
“This is a service for people who have already attempted suicide and survived, for those who have a very strong urge to take their own life and for those who self-harm,” said founder Joan Freeman. “It’s crisis intervention and we’re the only organisation that provides crisis intervention face to face.”
The qualified psychologist, who set up Pieta House in 2006, stressed that anyone can pick up the phone and make an appointment for a person in distress.
“A mother can pick up the phone about their son ... you don’t need a GP’s letter. You don’t need a psychiatric report.
“Studies show more people are saved by family and friends than by organisations like us. This is why we are pushing that.”
The centre, which has 14 consultation rooms and employs eight therapists, holds the distinction of being the charity’s largest facility and incorporates a training centre for staff.
The charity head said provisional figures would indicate a more than 40% increase in the numbers attending Pieta House this year, compared with 2012.
Pieta Cork, which is situated in St Catherine’s, a former Sisters of Mercy convent on Bishopstown Avenue off Model Farm Rd, brings to eight the number of Pieta House centres nationwide, and brings the charity one step closer to its aim of having a service within 100km of any person in the State. There are plans for a centre in Castleisland, Co Kerry, in January.
Pieta Cork: (021) 4341400
The signs of suicide:
S: Sleep deprivation.
G: Giving away possessions.
N: Not enjoying life.
S: Speaking the language of suicide — making statements like, “my family would be better off without me”.
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