With the new year, mental health charity Pieta has relaunched its ‘SIGNS of Suicide’ campaign to raise awareness of mental issues.
As part of this year’s campaign, Pieta has partnered with Galway born singer- songwriter, Aaron J Hart and wellness influencer Nathalie Lennon to spread awareness.
The organisation’s Helpline team received 99,042 calls and texts last year and delivered over 51,000 therapy hours, highlighting the growing demand for assistance.
Currently, 35% of Pieta’s clients are under the age of 18, while in Ireland, the overall suicide rate for males is three times higher than that of females according to CSO data.
This indicates that men as less likely to reach out and ask for help when they are experiencing a crisis.
The suicide prevention charity is asking people to be on the lookout for signs in their loved ones such as: Sleep Disturbance, Isolation, Giving Away Possessions, No Interest in Anything, Speaking of No Future.
Aaron J Harte, ‘SIGNS of Suicide’ ambassador, said that he was proud to take part in Pieta’s campaign again this year.
“As anyone who follows me will know, I have endured my own mental health struggles. I know how hard it is for young men in particular to speak to family and friends about how they’re feeling but I also know firsthand what a difference it can make.”
“For me, opening up marked the beginning of my road to recovery. It is so important to talk openly and honestly about our feelings and to let those who care about us know when we need a helping hand.”
“Likewise, I encourage everyone to familiarise themselves with Pieta’s ‘SIGNS of Suicide’. That way, we can look out for family and friends who may be struggling and be there for them. Know the signs, save lives.”
Stephanie Manahan, Pieta CEO, added, “While mental health struggles aren’t confined to any one period of the year, we do know that January can be especially difficult for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis or suicidal ideation.”
“That is why Pieta is keen to spread the word about the SIGNS of Suicide and to reiterate the message that it’s okay to not be okay.”
Pieta is encouraging people to ‘swap the small talk for the big talk’ and open up to a family member, friend, or trusted confidante.
Talking to loved ones about emotions is a difficult, but important, first step and can help alleviate distress before things spiral or escalate.
It is essential that anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts seeks help from a trained professional.
To avail of Pieta services, which are free of charge, please visit www.pieta.ie for all centre contact details and the National Therapy Services phoneline 0818 111 126.
Pieta provides 24/7 support – if you are suicidal, self-harming or bereaved you can contact Pieta 24/7 via the Freephone crisis helpline on 1800 247 247, you can also text HELP to 51444