Suicide or Survive founder Caroline McGuigan believes the nation has a collective responsibility to ensure there are adequate service and supports for those experiencing mental health problems.
Currently, there are a number of different organisations that deal with different aspects of mental health rather than a single national entity.
“We’ve come a long way as a country when it comes to mental health but there is so much more we can do. We all have mental health just like we have dental and physical health and this needs to be recognised and mental health needs to be prioritised if we are to reduce the number of people who die by suicide in Ireland every year," said Caroline.
"We are taught how to look after our dental and physical health and there are simple things we can learn to do every day that can make all the difference in the world to our mental health.”
Taking part in community life and being part of something bigger than the individual is vital in contributing to positive mental health according to Caroline.
“Everything we do at Suicide or Survive we do in partnership. We have wonderful partners in the community, voluntary and statutory sectors and work hard to develop relationships based on open communication, transparency and a genuine passion for positive change.”
She encourages people to talk about their problems and break down stigmas associated with mental health issues.
Ahead of World Suicide Prevention day, Suicide or Survive have launched an online Wellness Workshop at wellnessworkshop.ie and a new ‘Supporters Programme’ for people who are supporting others who are struggling with their mental health.
They are also running a ‘National Tea Break’ campaign.
They hope to encourage individuals, communities and organisations to challenge stigmas associated with mental health by having a cuppa and a chat in order raise much-needed funds for the organisation. More information suicideorsurvive.ie .