• Suicide Prevention in the community: A practical guide
• National Quality Standards for the provision of suicide bereavement services in Ireland
• Mental Health Promotion training programme for staff caring for older persons.
Speaking at the launch, Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, Older People, Equality & Mental Health Kathleen Lynch said: “There is not a community in Ireland that has not been affected by the trauma and despair that surrounds suicide.
“I recognise the many challenges that lie ahead and I am aware that there are no easy interventions that will guarantee success.
“However, I am heartened when I see the excellent collaboration between the various organisations and individuals who have worked closely together to produce these excellent resources which, I am sure, will make a difference to many individuals, communities and service providers.
“The challenge of suicide prevention is now one of the most urgent issues facing society and I am confident that by working collectively – policy makers, families and communities, service providers and service users – we can respond to this challenge.”
‘Suicide Prevention in the community: A practical guide” is a result of a number of community groups formed in the West of Ireland in response to suicide. The guide is the first of its kind in Ireland; it contains useful and practical advice on how best to set up a community response group to suicide. It lists the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of how best to support a grieving community and try to prevent further suicides in an area. Good practice guidelines are outlined for schools, third level colleges, youth clubs and centres, workplaces and sports groups. It will be available on the www.nosp.ie website, www.hse.ie website.
Catherine Brogan, Acting Director of the NOSP, speaking at the launch commented: “The National Office for Suicide Prevention works with over 40 partners to ensure that good practice is followed in all of our collective efforts to prevent suicide in our communities.
“These three practical resources will be important in guiding groups wishing to undertake work on suicide prevention to do so in a collaborative, evidence-based and safe way. Many community groups are formed following a death by suicide in an area and communities often struggle to know exactly what to say and do. This booklet, national guidelines and training programme are tools to support communities to address suicide to ensure that they are offered reassurance and sound advice at a time of great distress.”
The NOSP, Console, and Turas le Cheile bereavement support service have worked on developing “The National Quality Standards for the provision of suicide bereavement services”. The resource was created to establish national standards for all levels of suicide bereavement support services in Ireland.
Paul Kelly, founder and CEO of Console acknowledges the importance of the development of the standards.
He said: “Working in the area of suicide prevention and postvention over the past ten years, Console is acutely aware that following the loss of a loved one to suicide, and with the element of choice associated with it, many difficult feelings and reactions can present themselves. We are delighted to present ‘’The National Quality Standards for the Provision of Suicide Bereavement Services ‘’produced in collaboration with the National Office for Suicide Prevention and Turas Le Chéile.
“This practical document will help to ensure a consistent quality of such services nationwide and is as helpful for existing services as it is for new ones.”
Training staff in ways to promote positive mental health is seen internationally as an effective approach in identifying persons at risk of suicide.
Older people can be at risk of mental health problems or suicide. The new training programme, “Mental Health Promotion training for staff caring for older persons” launched by Minister Lynch, focuses on increasing awareness of depression and suicide in the older person.
The programme was developed by the HSE along with voluntary organisations and groups providing a range of services to older persons. The course is designed to improve the confidence, and knowledge of all carers working with older people. Initially this training will be available to the West and will be rolled out to the rest of the country by the end of the year.