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Launch of Pieta House Outreach – Suicide Bereavement Counselling and Crisis Intervention Service to Cavan and Monaghan

December 19th, 2019

Launch of Pieta House Outreach – Suicide Bereavement Counselling and Crisis Intervention Service to Cavan and Monaghan

HSE Media Release

Launch of Pieta House Outreach – Suicide Bereavement Counselling and Crisis Intervention Service to Cavan and Monaghan

The HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) has approved funding to establish a suicide bereavement counselling and crisis intervention service for people at risk of suicide and engaging in self-harm in both Cavan and Monaghan.

This Service will be delivered on an outreach basis by Pieta House from January 2020 who will also contribute to the funding required. A Therapist will be recruited for 16 hours per week to provide one to one bereavement counselling to people who have been bereaved by suicide, as well as one to one counselling to those experiencing suicidal ideation, who have attempted suicide, or those engaging in self-harm. The Therapist will be based primarily in the Tusla Child Wellbeing Centre in Castleblayney for County Monaghan and options are being explored through HSE Primary Care for County Cavan as well as other locations in County Monaghan.

This Outreach Service will strengthen the existing support in place for people bereaved by suicide through the Suicide Bereavement Liaison Officer (SBLO) Service. The SBLO is available to provide emotional and practical support to people who have lost a loved one through suicide and can be contacted on 085 870 6591. This Service is also delivered through Pieta House and funded by HSE NOSP.

The work of the Pieta House Outreach Service will be supported by local stakeholders involved in the implementation of the Cavan Monaghan Connecting for Life Suicide Prevention Strategy. These services fall under one of the actions of the local Plan which was launched back in June 2017 and maps out a range of actions that seek to reduce the risks of suicide in our local communities. The Cavan Monaghan Connecting for Life Steering group includes representatives from statutory organisations (HSE, Tusla, County Councils, Gardai, ETB) and community services including Family Resource Centres, Youth Services, as well as elected representatives from Cavan and Monaghan County Councils. Members of this Steering Group have held a number of meetings with staff from Pieta House over the recent months to help bring this service to the area. This work, along with the support and campaigning of the Cavan and Monaghan Darkness in Light Committees has helped to finally bring these much needed services to the counties of Cavan and Monaghan.

Cavan and Monaghan have experienced an increase in the rate of suicide over recent years and Claire Conlisk from Cavan Darkness into Light said that “We have been working hard towards this for many years so it’s great to see it finally become a reality. It’s a service that is badly needed in the area and will hopefully bring a lot of comfort and much needed help”. Eoin Kelly from Monaghan Darkness into Light stated that “the news of having these services available on our doorstep will re-energise the local Darkness into Light Committees and communities of Monaghan and Cavan to continue their support of these local events”.

Pieta’s Clinical Director Lena Lenehan said, “I am delighted that we are launching the outreach in Cavan and Monaghan, it is so important that we continue to strengthen services within these communities, to provide the critical support and help that is desperately needed.”

Cathal Grant, Senior Manager with Tusla said that “Tusla Cavan and Monaghan are delighted to be a partner in this much needed service for the area. From the outset it has been an example of how much can be achieved when statutory agencies and communities come together. The Tusla Child Wellbeing Centre in Castleblayney will provide a welcoming and supportive space for the Pieta House service to be delivered and grow across the two counties. I applaud the commitment of everyone involved in the introduction of this service to the area.”

The Cavan Monaghan Connecting for Life Steering Group is chaired by Padraig O’Beirne, Area Director of Nursing with Cavan Monaghan Mental Health Service. Padraig welcomed the introduction of the outreach service to Cavan Monaghan saying that “The development of the outreach service by Pieta House for the Cavan Monaghan Region is a very positive step forward in achieving the goals set out in Connecting for Life.  All of these developments are focused on reducing suicide and self-harm and giving greater supports to the people of Cavan Monaghan.  In addition to the services now being developed by Pieta House there have been a number of service developments which include the Psychiatric Liaison Team in Cavan General Hospital, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Self Harm based in Cavan General Hospital as part of the National Clinical Programme and there is greater community engagement taking place across mental health teams and services, all supporting a suicide reduction strategy in line with Connecting for Life”.  

Further information can be obtained by contacting Emer Mulligan, Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention for Cavan and Monaghan, Tel: 086 1717 563 or email: emer.mulligan@hse.ie

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