Hi and welcome to the latest edition of the Connect Newsletter.  I hope you are having a good summer so far and are enjoying the blue skies and the sunshine we have had lately.  I know it has really lifted my mood!!

I am delighted to have this opportunity to let you know that I have recently taken up the role of CEO with Suicide or Survive and will be working hard alongside the amazing team of staff, facilitators, and Board members to bring our life changing suicide prevention and mental health promotion programmes to all corners of the country and to continue to develop our programmes and partnerships.

Some of you will already know me from my work with Suicide or Survive over a long number of years as National Programme Manager, as Eden Programme Manager, and as Facilitator.  I would like to thank you for your support for the team and the organisation and the amazing work that many of you do to raise funds so that we can bring our programmes to as many people as possible.

As we emerge from the COVID pandemic we have taken the first steps in moving back to in-person delivery of our programmes and are delighted to be meeting people face-to-face again all over the country.  However, we are also acutely aware that for some people online delivery is still preferable because of their own health concerns or concerns for the health of their loved ones, transport or mobility issues, time constraints or for a myriad of other reasons.  Because of this we have decided to also continue to offer some of our programmes online into the future.  If you would like to chat to us about bringing one of our programmes to your area or organisation you can read more about how to do this in this issue of Connect.

This is an exciting time for Suicide or Survive as we develop our new strategic plan to guide our work over the next five years.  I hope that you will continue to travel with us on our journey to achieve our Vision of “A world where everyone is empowered to look after their mental health and where fewer people die by suicide.”

I am really looking forward to taking on the challenge of the CEO role and hope to have the opportunity to meet as many of you as possible over time either in person or online.
I hope you enjoy this edition of our newsletter where you will be able to read more about our programmes, partnerships, and the fantastic people we work with.

Best Wishes
Paula Lawlor, CEO

At SOS our mission is 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. 

We do this through our innovative programmes in both Community and Corporate settings. With our Eden Programme, Wellness Workshops and Webinars, our Supporters Programme, WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan), and a full suite of Workplace Wellness programmes, Suicide or Survive runs the spectrum from suicide prevention to mental health promotion

SOS also provide online wellness workshops which are fully funded and so are  available to the public for free, these have videos, PDFs and activities to help manage your own wellness, in your own time.  

Have you ever wondered how SOS choose the locations and organisations that we bring our highly acclaimed educational mental health programmes to? Or have you ever thought, I would really like to hold an SOS programme in my area but don’t know where to start?

The answer to these questions is that everything we do we do in partnership. We believe that it is only by working beside each other that we can achieve our aim of bringing communities together to focus on mental health and wellbeing through our programmes. We work hard to create relationships with people in communities and organisations all around the country who, like us, want to make change in society, relationships that allow people the space to come together, speak freely about mental health and in so doing become part of the change that is breaking down stigma associated with mental health and suicide in Ireland.

So how does this happen? Well, it really is as simple as picking up the phone and having a conversation with us. Talking to us about how one of our programmes might be of support to your community or organisation. As the saying goes “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step”. We have delivered our programmes to a diverse range of groups and people in community centres, scout halls, hotels etc all around the country, working together in partnership to promote our services as much as we can so that as many people as possible get a chance to attend a programme.

If you feel that you or your community would like to host a workshop in your area, Catherine our National Programmes Coordinator is only too happy to talk you through the process which generally takes around 3 months from inception to delivery.

You can contact her on 012722158 or 0860677923.

The 6 Ways Young People Can Incorporate Self-Care At Work In 2022

Self-care is about being proactive rather than reactive. By practicing self-care on a regular basis you’re taking control of your life and how you address your stress. When you make yourself a priority you’re making sure your own cup is filled first before going out and helping other people. You’ll have fewer of those moments where you feel like you just can’t give any more of yourself.

1. Take a 5 minute break
Set a timer on your phone and when the timer goes off, stop what you’re doing and move away from your desk and sit down somewhere quiet. Close your eyes and take in a couple of deep breaths. Check in with yourself. How are you feeling right now?

2. Go outside 
Exposure to nature lowers stress, improves your attention span, improves your mental health and even can help you increase your empathy

3. Move your body 
This one can be harder to plan so make sure to look at your schedule at the beginning of each day and identify one or two opportunities to move your body. The more you do it, the more you’ll find new ways to move your body.

4. Notice eating and drinking
These are your clues as to which habits you might need to change. Before you make a bunch of changes, pick one habit like eliminating that second cup of coffee or find ways to eat one more serving of vegetables each day.

5. Acknowledge your accomplishments 
Start collecting email messages, notes, and performance reviews where someone is singing your praises. Every time someone sends you a message that makes you feel good about yourself and your work, save it. Each time you start to feel down about work or wonder, “What am I doing here?” open up that folder and re-read all of those notes as a reminder of how much you’ve accomplished.

6. Create a shutdown routine
Take five-to-ten minutes at the end of the day to check all of your notes, emails and calendar and make sure your list of “to-dos” is up to date and that your not missing anything. Scan this list and the calendar and note anything that seems urgent so you know to address that task first thing. Then shut down the computer and repeat the phrase, “Schedule shutdown complete.” If you have a work-related thought or start to worry that you missed something, remind yourself that you checked everything and you know once you utter this phrase there is nothing to worry about.

Read more about these ideas and why they work in this
Forbes article by Tess Brigham – A psychotherapist and coach focusing on 20-somethings at work.



SOS want to say a big THANK YOU! to all our fundraisers and donors who have supported us so far in 2022!

Together you have raised over €40,000.00 in 2022 so far!
What an incredible achievement. SOS couldn’t bring our programmes to the communities across Ireland without your amazing support.

SOS is all about collaboration.
All of us working together to achieve the end goal of breaking the stigma around mental health, and promoting wellness maintenance and recovery as a way of life, with the ultimate aim of suicide prevention. Suicide or Survive needs people like you to help us raise the funds to make this happen

Every little helps so don’t ever feel that your idea is not big enough. The possibilities are limitless from marathons to abseils, coffee mornings to soccer tournaments – there is something for everyone.

Whatever your idea, we can support your event in lots of ways, so please contact us for more information.


Hi, my name is Brian Kelly, originally I am from Crumlin in Dublin, I am a Husband, a Dad, and a Grandad. Family are really important to me and I love getting to hang out with them especially my grandkids. It’s been so much fun since they came along, grand-parenting is much easier than parenting ever was. Now we get to have all the fun and hardly any responsibility. ‘You would like chocolate for breakfast! no problem’,
(that’s grandparents for you)

I trained as a Reality Therapist in the early 90’s and have since trained as a Life and Business Coach, An Adult Guidance Counsellor, A W.R.A.P. facilitator and recently have been taking part in a Masters programme in Transformational Leadership. 

I have worked with people in many different roles, customer service, sales, manager, counsellor/therapist, trainer, group facilitator, coach and mentor, spiritual advisor. 

I became aware of SOS through a friend of mine who was working with them as a Wellness Workshop Facilitator and after going through a mental health crisis of my own and a change of career direction, I started facilitating on Wellness Workshops with SOS in 2014. Over the past 8 years with SOS, I have also facilitated on Corporate workshops, WRAP programmes and I currently coordinator and facilitate on the Eden programme in Dublin and Mayo/Roscommon. 

Together with my wife we founded and lead the Hope Centre, a faith based community outreach in Crumlin and an international Aid organisation called Pashli that has been working in Belarus since 2004. For fun I absolutely love going to the movies.

I am passionate about people having both the opportunity and support to achieve everything that is possible to them. And for nearly 30 years in various community and corporate organisations I have worked to that aim, in one to one sessions, group facilitation, mediation, webinars and public speaking, whenever or wherever an opportunity has arisen to help people. No matter what their background, I genuinely love seeing people reaching for their potential and living life to the greatest degree possible for them. 

The values and ethos of SOS are perfectly aligned with how I feel about people and want to work with them. And it has been a privilege to work with the team in SOS, as we have travelled the length and breath of the country offering information and dare I say even Hope to so many and I look forward to what is yet to come as we continue our ongoing battle with Stigma and Suicide. 

I do believe the best is yet to come. Watch this space.

Pride and Mental Health with Dil Wickremasinghe

International Speaker, TEDx Speaker, MC, Broadcaster, Journalist, Workplace Trainer, Mental Health Service Provider and Psychotherapist

Dil was born in Rome to a privileged Sri Lankan family but became homeless when she came out to her religious parents… she was just 16 years old. When she was 19 she found her passion for media when she started working in Sri Lankan radio only to be fired based on her sexuality.
Like many LGBTQ+ people she immigrated in search of a country where she could be her true self. At the age of 25, Dil arrived in Dublin and set about rebuilding her life. Her career spans over multiple industries – aviation, hospitality, human resources, workplace training, journalism, broadcasting, theatre, stand-up comedy and mental health.
As a social entrepreneur Dil founded Insight Matters with her wife Anne Marie Toole and with a team of 100 psychotherapists and holistic practitioners they support the mental health of over 600 clients per week.
Dil was honoured with the Lord Mayor’s Awards for her contribution to civic life and received the Irish Tatler Woman of the Year Award for her work as a Marriage Equality campaigner.
Dil and Anne Marie have a 6 year old son called Phoenix and a 4 year old daughter called Xavier who continually inspire them to strive to create an inclusive and compassionate world.

Join SOS as we talk with Dil about her journey in the LGBTQ+ community, her mental health and activism on one of our Webinars –
Monday 20th June at 12pm 

Suicide or Survive are now on TikTok. Yes, that’s right, SOS_Ireland is our username, we would love for you to join us or tell your TikTok loving friends to follow us. We have only just started but can’t wait to connect with a different community and bring Mental Health Awareness to the platform.