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Hello friends, fundraisers, and the greater SOS family, welcome back to another edition of the Connect Newsletter with Suicide or Survive and a big happy new year to you all.

Firstly, I would like to introduce myself, my name is Aisling and I am privileged to be taking on the position of CEO with this fantastic organisation and work alongside the incredible SOS team to increase mental health awareness and deliver suicide prevention programmes across Ireland. I have worked in the community and voluntary sector for over 20 years in charities such as Barretstown, Rehab Care, Epilepsy Ireland and The Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and hope that my skills and experiences will only enhance the powerful footprint SOS has already made in Irish society.

The SOS team tells me that it seems like only yesterday that they were sent to work remotely due to the government guidelines and the country went into its first lockdown, now nearly one year on we continue to bring our mental health awareness and suicide prevention programmes to an online platform – reaching more people than ever before.

Suicide or Survive quickly developed our wellness webinars back in April 2020 in response to the Corona Virus pandemic. With many people stuck at home, isolated and struggling to adapt to this new normal, mental health awareness and support was more important than ever before. We are glad to say in 2020 we managed to reach more people than ever before and even had participants from Spain, The UK and Dubai. We also moved our WRAP, Supporters and Eden programmes to an online platform and continue to work with communities and those in the workplace to bring mental health awareness and suicide prevention programmes.

In this issue of the newsletter, you will have a chance to meet one of the SOS staff members, Catherine. Catherine is our programmes co-ordinator and is a vital part of our team, if you talk to us about booking on to a programme or bringing a programme to your place of work or community, Catherine is your contact- so it is a great opportunity to get to know her more.

We will bring you some articles, one from a great group of young people fundraising in memory of their friend Daragh, the group have already surpassed the €20,000.00 mark which is incredible, so check out their story.

To finish off this edition we will be asking you to join us for our new fundraising challenge – Muscle & Mind. A great chance to take on a 30-day challenge and raise some much-needed mental health awareness during this time.

Lastly, a recap on some of our programmes, what are they, who are they for and what do they involve – a great way to remember the purpose and goals of Suicide or Survive –

To create and deliver innovative approaches that educate, inform, and inspire people to cultivate good mental health and reduce stigma leading to less death by suicide.

Best wishes and stay safe.

Aisling Farrell
CEO

MEET THE TEAM
CATHERINE  REDMOND

Hi everyone, Catherine here, so I joined SOS as National Programmes Coordinator in January 2018, although I always tell people I lost my heart to SOS way back in 2013 when I first attended a Wellness Workshop. I knew then that I wanted to be part of this amazing organization that spoke openly about mental health and suicide and how we are can take personal responsibility for our own wellness.

I came to SOS after 13 years of working at management level in the field of Drug Rehabilitation within the Voluntary and Community Sector, before that I worked in retail, so I have always worked in and around others. As anyone who knows me will agree; I am a chatty person by nature and love to work with, learn from and get to know people.

I am so lucky in that my role as Programmes Coordinator means my working days are never the same, I get to meet lots of people from all walks of life and from all over the country who all have one thing in common and that is wanting to learn tips, tools, and techniques to support the wellness and meatal health of themselves or others.

Recently I have had the opportunity to train as a WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) facilitator, something which I enjoyed immensely. I was introduced to the concept of WRAP three years ago; I use it daily and honestly feel it has improved my wellness and my quality of life.

So outside of SOS, I am so lucky to have a wonderful husband and I get to be a mother to an amazing daughter, I have lots and lots of friends and a Cockapoo called Lenny who thinks he is human! Since lockdown I have been working from home and I honestly think he enjoys the Zoom calls. I love cooking which really helps me to destress and am very outgoing and sociable, in fairness the pandemic has put a stop to some of that, but I look forward to the day when I can meet up with my friends, go shopping, eat a meal in a restaurant and most importantly hug people!

The 1000 Miles for Daragh campaign is a challenge set up by a group of friends who wanted to honour their late friend Daragh Collins. Over the course of February, the group planned to run 1000 miles between them, raising as much money as possible for Suicide or Survive (SOS).

Read more here…

To donate to 1000 miles for Daragh, please click here

 

Suicide or Survive continue to bring our online mental health awareness programmes and webinars to the public throughout this time.

Join us as we talk with Síona about the importance of Women in Leadership, Activism and her own journey with Mental Health on March 8th at 12pm to mark International Women’s Day.

Read more

Register here for this event

To see our full list of webinars, click here

Muscle & Mind 30 day Challenge

Test your body & improve your mind. Choose or create your own individual challenge and raise funds for Suicide or Survive. This fundraiser is open to people of all ages and abilities. We would love your support ❤️ 

Contact anthony@suicideorsurvive.ie on how to get started  

Suicide or Survive continue to deliver our innovative wellness & mental health  programmes through online platforms during this global pandemic. 

Our Eden Programme has officially started in Dublin, Galway and Mayo. The Eden programme is unprecedented in Ireland and is both unique and creative in its approach. The Eden Programme was established by SOS to provide a safe space for those in need who have attempted suicide or have had suicidal thoughts. It provides a supportive weekly group environment over a 6 monthly period in which up to fourteen to sixteen participants per programme become more aware of their own psychological states and can develop tools to manage their own wellness, a range of supports in their own community and can move away from suicide as an option of first choice in times of crisis.

Our WRAP Programme is being delivered online through zoom and canvas since the lockdown last year. The Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) helps you develop your own personally tailored Wellness Action Plan that you can use on a day-to-day basis to manage your wellness and that you can use if you become unwell to restore it.

Our Supporters Programme  teaches supporters practical skills they can use to support others, it gives information on what supports are available and how they can be accessed and teaches practical ways of looking after your own mental health. Suicide or Survive recognises and understands that supporting someone who is struggling with their mental health can be challenging. For this reason we have developed a new and innovative programme for people supporting family members, friends, neighbours, work colleagues, people in their community and others who are struggling with their mental health. It is the first of its kind in Ireland.

Suicide or Survive also provide mental health programmes to the workplace and organisations. We work with organisations to open the conversation around positive mental health and to introduce staff and management to the positive benefits of taking personal responsibility for their own wellness. Our programmes help break the stigma that stops people from seeking help when they struggle.

To learn more about all of our programmes please visit this link

To see a full list of upcoming programme which you can book on to
please visit this link

So until next time, stay safe, stay well, keep working your own wellness plan and look after yourself this year

Aisling Farrell

CEO