Pieta, Ireland’s national suicide prevention charity, has launched its ‘SIGNS of Suicide’ campaign together with Galway born signer-songwriter Aaron J Hart.
‘Signs of Suicide’ is a public awareness resource created to help family or friends support someone who may be at risk of self-harm or suicide.
The campaign encourages people to ‘swap the small talk for the big talk’ as over half of Pieta’s clients are under 25 years old.
Speaking about the campaign, Leigh Kenny, Regional Manager and Therapist with Pieta, said that January can be a particularly difficult time of year for people struggling with their mental health, though these issues are far from limited to one month.
“However, it is a great opportunity to highlight that it’s ok not to feel ok sometimes and the best thing you can do is talk about your feelings, whether that be with your family, friends or even your barber.”
“If you think someone you know is struggling then follow the three simple steps of A.P.R – Ask, Persuade and Refer. At Pieta we have trained professionals waiting to help.”
Pieta is urging everyone to be aware of the ‘Signs of Suicide’, so that you can help a loved one feeling blocked in by their own consuming thoughts and look towards feelings of hope.
Aaron J Hart, who is supporting the campaign as it seeks to reach a younger male audience, said that it can help people to spot if someone they know is struggling, so they can reach out in support.
“Anyone who knows my music will know that I’ve been through my own struggles, I know how difficult it is and how taking that first step is the hardest.”
“It can be very difficult to speak to your family or friends about your struggles but that’s exactly what we need to do, we need to talk more and be open about our feelings and the hard times.”
“Nobody can read minds, but Pieta’s SIGNS of Suicide really does help you to identify whether your friends may be struggling.”
“If you suspect they are struggling reach out, make the first move – you never know, you could save a life.”
SIGNS to look out for include:
Giving way possessions
No interest in anything
Speaking of no future
The campaign is also a partnership with Sam’s Barbers, as many young men have great relationships with their barbers and consider this a safe space to open-up and talk freely.
Sam Donnelly, Owner of Sam’s Barber’s said “We have young lads come in here and they really do open-up and talk to us, sometimes they talk to us more than they talk to their friends or the girlfriends. It’s almost like the chair is a safe space.”
“It is really important that people understand that there are signs of suicide and to know what to do if recognise these in a loved one. Pieta is a fantastic organisation and I fully support the work that they do.”
Pieta therapists found that most people who talk about suicide do not want to die. They simply want to stop the pain they feel.
Knowing some of the signs to listen and watch out for is the first step in helping someone.
Visit www.pieta.ie for more information about the campaign, and how you can be there for someone close to you.
If you or someone you know is struggling, contact Pieta’s 24/7 freephone helpline on 1800 247 2474 or Text HELP to 51444.