Counselling rooms dedicated to Donal Walsh

Two counselling rooms, which were opened yesterday for people at risk of suicide, were dedicated to cancer victim Donal Walsh.
Counselling rooms dedicated to Donal Walsh

Before his death, the Kerry teenager’s inspirational message to young people contemplating suicide had touched the nation’s hearts.

In his home town of Tralee yesterday, two special counselling rooms were opened in his honour.

One of his quotes, “life is a beautiful struggle” takes prominence at the centre.

Donal’s mother, Elma Walsh, performed the opening ceremony at Console House at the Catherine McAuley centre.

The provision of rooms was funded by the charity, Donal Walsh LiveLife fund.

Console is a national suicide prevention and bereavement charity.

Its premises in Tralee was the country’s first suicide resource centre.

Donal’s mother said: “We are honoured to collaborate with Console so that Donal’s work continues.

“Through Console we are reaching out to young people of his own age who are in distress or whose lives have been touched by suicide.”

Chief executive of Console, founder Paul Kelly said: “Donal’s message that life is worth living really had an impact because he spoke from the heart.”

The centre’s manager Amber Kavanagh said the opening ceremony had been designed around the 16-year-old’s memory.

Referring to the moving quote from Donal’s ‘den’, Ms Kavanagh said: “He believed if a teenager was in trouble a door will open and, today, we are opening the door on Donal’s Rooms, where hope and help are always available for young people.”

The rooms were designed specifically around the counselling needs of young people.

One room is for children aged six to 10 and the other is for teenagers and young adults.

Console’s project manager Margaret Tierney said: “Features such as sandboxes and toys in the children’s room and air hockey tables and other games in the teenagers’ room will encourage young people who find it difficult to express their emotions to relax and interact with their counsellors.”

The suicide prevention and bereavement charity offers countrywide counselling services and 24-hour helpline support to people in crisis and also those bereaved by suicide.

Console said support is offered at any time on a freephone service 1800 247 247.

It advised other details and useful information are available at www.console.ie

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