Suicide Prevention is our collective responsibility

Suicide is always a tragic event for any family and community. The shockwaves spread wide. Suicide is usually unexpected and sudden and leaves many unanswered questions for those left behind. It is a myth that any one event will cause suicide. The reasons are always complex and multi-dimensional. There is never one single cause. This month is Suicide Prevention month and an ideal time to promote our individual responsibility to educate ourselves.
What we do know from those who have survived an attempt is that people have very ambivalent feelings, they rarely want to die. They do want relief from ongoing emotional pain.

Community support is available
How to be a good listener

According to the Psychological Society of Ireland,

‘suicide is not a disease. It is an expression of a host of emotions, hopelessness, guilt, sorrow, loneliness, rage, fear, that have their root in psychological, social, medical, and biomedical factors.

The harsh reality is that we are all vulnerable to suicide if the chips stack up. We know that in Ireland, over 75% of completed suicides are male. Some other risk factors are;
A history of heavy drinking/other drug abuse, a history of impulsive behaviour, recent relationship break-up, a series of bereavements, physical illness, financial struggles.
What can we do in a community context to help?
We all have a personal responsibility to educate ourselves; to take talk of suicide seriously and not to dismiss it. There is a common myth that talking about suicide will encourage people to take their own lives. This is simply not true; showing someone you care; asking honest questions and seeking appropriate help are 3 critical steps. Check out the website . The community support section offers e-learning on how to listen to someone who is feeling suicidal. The above is adapted from an HSE booklet called ‘Suicide Prevention in the Community’. The HSE employs Suicide Prevention officers in every region. Contact them and ask about community training that may be available in your area. Check out the websites of the National Office of Suicide Prevention, AWARE and the youth counselling service Headstrong. September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day, let’s make it count.

Anxiety Counselling

Anxiety and Depression Get the Support You Deserve

Anxiety and Depression
Get the Support You Deserve

Anxiety and depression will affect most of us at different times in our lives. Sometimes we can see reasons; we are reacting to a life event like bereavement, redundancy or relationship-break up. Sometimes it does not make sense; there are no obvious reasons. Feelings of guilt and shame can compound the problem if we constantly beat ourselves up for feeling low, ‘I have no reason to feel like this so why do I?’. Constantly trying to hide feelings of anxiety or chasing depression away is exhausting.
There is a myth that talking to a counsellor is a sign of weakness, that strong people just ‘get on with it’. Seeking support to explore life struggles is an act of profound courage and one that I have the privilege to witness every day in my practice. To admit to our vulnerabilities is not a weakness. This ultimately is what lies at the core of our humanity and links us to each other and the rest of the human family.
Community support is available
How to be a good listener

Talking, however difficult, does help. When we feel truly heard, we feel understood and over time it can generate feelings of self-acceptance and clarity. If you are worried about someone you know, check out the tips on on how to be a good listener. There is free training in the Community Support section on how to talk about suicidal thoughts/suicide TALK. There are many low-cost counselling options available in the community. Anxiety and depression are manageable. Never imagine that you have to walk alone.

Anxiety Counselling Counsellor

What is counselling and how does a counsellor work?

What is counselling and how does a counsellor work are common questions to ask if you are thinking about personal change. A counsellor’s role is very different to that of friends or family. Talking to family can be difficult as we may feel obligated to protect them from our anxiety and worries. We may know that complete honesty is not welcome, so we sugar the pill a little or a lot. A friend, by definition, has a vested interest in the friendship and we may find ourselves censoring information or minimising our anxiety to protect the friendship. Adopting a persona or mask in life is very common, for example, “I’m a person who can handle anything life throws at me” which can make it difficult to admit to any struggle that does not fit with this kind of persona. Counselling support allows you to explore any persona you have adopted in life and to determine if they have outlived their usefulness. Human beings are a mass of contradictions, desires, hopes, dreams and struggles. Taking time to engage in some personal exploration is an act of profound courage and is an act that will over time be rewarded, although this may be in ways we find difficult to predict at the outset. While many seek counselling in the expectation that the counsellor will ‘sort out’ their problems and offer a fix, it is the client themselves who does the work. The counsellor provides a space grounded in non-judgement, empathy and honesty which facilitates the work. As Kahil Gibran wrote in the prophet ‘No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge’. What is counselling and how does a counsellor

What is counselling & how does a counsellor work.