Sport stars unite for video to tackle suicide

Sport stars across a range of codes feature in a video aimed at helping to combat suicide.

Jim McGuinness and Alan Quinlan are just some of the high-profile names featured in the video produced by three IT Sligo students.

With Ireland having one of the highest rates of suicide amongst young males in Europe, the students focused their message on this group and sought out some of Ireland’s top sporting stars to encourage those at risk to talk to somebody close to them.

A number of the people featured on the video are asked about suicide and who they would tell if they were contemplating taking their own life.

“My own community has been devastated by it in the last number of years, old and young,” said Donegal manager Jim McGuinness.

“It’s something that just stops you in your tracks. You wish that you could do something, or that you could have known or helped but the reality is sometimes you don’t and that’s why it’s so important that if you’re any way down or carrying anything, or if you feel depressed, to try to seek people out. Don’t carry it yourself, try and move forward with the help and support of other people. That’s the key thing.”

Former Ireland and Munster rugby star Alan Quinlan said the stigma attached to suicide needed to be removed from Irish society.

“There’s no doubt about it that people tend to sweep their problems under the carpet and not open up. But they escalate and get worse as time goes on. There is no shame in speaking out and opening up to someone.”

- Those affected by suicide or suicidal thoughts should contact a GP. Other sources of support include the Samaritans 1850 609090, 1Life 1800 247100, and Stop suicide 1850 211877.

Picture: Oisin McConville, Armagh, and Stephen Doak, Donegal, with Lisa Brady, Stephen Sullivan, and David Mackin at the launch of ‘Who Would You Tell?’. Picture: James Connolly


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