The booklet, which also gives advice on how to seek help for those in crisis, will be distributed throughout the ICA guild network over the next month.
The booklet launch at the ICA’s annual general meeting comes as the tragedy of suicide in Ireland was brought into sharp focus with a total of five deaths in Galway in the past week.
Hundreds of people joined a remembrance walk in the city at the weekend to remember those who died, with Cork hurler Conor Cusack among those who spoke at the Walk of Life event.
The collaboration with Pieta House — the suicide and self-harm crisis centre — was prompted by the continuously high rate of suicide in Ireland, particularly amongst men in rural areas. Males account for eight out of 10 suicides nationwide.
As studies have shown that more suicides are prevented by family and friends than by professional institutions, Pieta House is working to train members of the public to spot the indications of suicidal behaviour in loved ones.
ICA members from around the country have taken part in Pieta House’s Mind Your Buddy training programme and are now designated contact people for anyone in need of help within their community.
“We’re delighted to officially announce this partnership after a year’s work by the dedicated ICA members who have volunteered their time to participate in the Mind Your Buddy programme,” said ICA president Liz Wall.
“The ICA has a long history of working in the community and we are acutely aware of the suicide crisis in many rural areas around Ireland. This collaboration with Pieta House is, therefore, very important to us and we hope that it will help save lives,” she said.
Pieta House has identified five of the most common signs of suicide that they are asking the public to look out for in family members and friends:
* Sleep disturbance;
* Becoming isolated;
* Giving away possessions;
* Losing interest in work or hobbies;
* Speaking the language of suicide by saying that they see no future.
* For further information, visit www.pieta.ie or call 01-6010000.