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When approached recently by people concerned at the spate of suicides in their community, Noreen Murphy, founder of suicide prevention charity Lisheens House, based in Skibbereen, Co Cork, was determined to help out a community left reeling from the aftermath of these deaths.
Noreen, who founded the charity after losing her own husband to suicide in 2007, felt the best immediate action was to offer free QPR ('Question Persuade and Refer') suicide prevention training to people on the Northside of Cork city. The two free training sessions take place in Knocknaheeny / Hollyhill Youth Centre from 6:30pm on Thursday, August 22, and on Thursday, August 29.
QPR stands for 'Question Persuade and Refer'. It is a three-step, three-hour training programme that anyone can learn. QPR training helps people spot the signs in someone who may be considering taking their own life.
International research shows us that many people who are contemplating suicide will display a number of verbal or behavioural signs in the lead up to taking their own life.
These signs can be both direct and indirect and if the people closest to them ie their family, friends, workmates are trained to spot these signs and know how to respond, then many lives can be saved.
“Suicide is one of the most preventable causes of death,” added Noreen. “Historically, we never spoke about mental health and suicide and so the stigma and prejudice surrounding the subject just grew and grew, we locked people away out of sight out of mind.
“Thankfully, this is changing and the more mental health is treated the same as our physical health and spoken about openly then the stigma will lessen and people in crisis will not be afraid of being judged when they speak about their mental health problems and ask for help.”
Noreen acknowledges there is no magic wand or one-size-fits-all solution but the more informed and educated communities are about the subject it will help save lives.
Lisheens House receives not one cent of state funding and all of their services are financed through fundraising and the resale of donated unwanted furniture in their two shops. Please call 086 4066348 if you wish to donate any items of unwanted furniture
“We are glad to provide this free training and give back to a community that has supported us from day one,” said Noreen Murphy. “Because, at Lisheens House, we believe 'Community Mental Health Matters'.”
Lisheens House offers free QPR ('Question Persuade and Refer') training at 6:30pm on Thursday, August 22, and on Thursday, August 29, in Knocknaheeny / Hollyhill Youth Centre.
Call Lisheens House on 021 2427406 to reserve a free place, or book online here.