Further suicide prevention services are to be provided in 2013 in Co Kerry, which has the highest rate of death by suicide in the country.
Pieta House, which offers specialist treatment programmes for people contemplating suicide, or those engaging in self-harm, plans to open a centre in Castleisland, where a premises has become available, by June.
The demand for the services provided by Pieta House, which includes free counselling, continues to grow, with a 40% rise in the number of people availing of its services in the first six months of the year.
Meanwhile, the South West Counselling Centre, in Killarney, Co Kerry, is providing a service for people who feel distressed, or in need of someone to talk to during the Christmas/new year period.
The centre is offering this support through Kerry LifeLine. People can talk with a counsellor over the phone, or drop into the centre between 10am and 5pm daily.
Centre director Geraldine Sheedy said people could feel under extreme pressure as they struggled to live up to Christmas expectations, adding Christmas could be a difficult time for even the most robust people.
She also said that, for many men, being separated from their families at Christmas could be a particularly isolating and lonely time.
“At Christmas time, there’s a lot of media hype about family and Christmas time by definition is a time for family, for celebration and for happiness. This can all add to the stress one feels around Christmas,” she added.
During 2013, Kerry LifeLine, will hold support group meetings at the centre for parents, families and friends who have lost loved ones through suicide.
Meetings will be held on the first Monday of each month. Each session is facilitated by a Kerry LifeLine counsellor in a safe and comfortable environment.
The first meeting will take place on Monday, Jan 7, 2013, at the centre, from 7pm to 8.30pm. All meetings are free.
* Contact the South West Counselling Centre during office hours on 064 6636100. To talk to someone immediately, or outside of these hours, call the helpline on 1800 247100.
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