Ireland's farmers need to be strong inside and out. It’s OK not to feel OK; and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help.
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Ireland's farmers need to be strong inside and out. It’s OK not to feel OK; and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help.

Today, Sunday 10th September 2017 is earmarked as the 15th World Suicide Prevention Day and is led by International Association for Suicide Prevention.

Everyone is asked to take a minute to reach out to someone that they may be concerned about, because you can make a difference.

The theme is one of Motivation and Empowerment – ‘Take a minute, change a life.’

The campaign stresses the importance of community, in the many forms that they come in highlighting the significance of reaching out and checking in with people.

If one person sets aside one minute to ask someone how they are, you can potentially prevent someone from engaging in suicidal behaviour.

What is positive mental health?

‘‘Positive mental health is when you can realise your own abilities, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully and make a contribution to your community’’ as defined by Mental Health Ireland.

One may question what can be classified as having ‘positive mental health’?

Having the ability to cope, self-esteem, contentment, connection with other people and community, vitality, positive relations and the ability to deal constructively with negative feelings and emotions are recognised as the general characteristics by Mental Health Ireland.

Statistics

Mental health is an important part of your physical health.

Approximately 500 suicides are recorded in Ireland every year, the HSA reports.

68 people died from suicide last year in Ireland.

Every 40 seconds a person dies from suicide somewhere around the globe.

As another year passes close to 800,000 people die by suicide and up to 25 times that amount make suicidal attempts.

This means that suicide has been identified as the second leading cause of death in the 15-29-year-old category.

These are among some of the most frightening messages to be revealed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as part of the publication of Preventing Suicide- A global imperative back in 2014.

Mental Health Ambassadors

Efforts of suicide prevention are strung out in every corner of the globe, but they are facing many roadblocks.

Challenges that have been identified include insufficient resources, ineffective co-ordination, access to accurate data and information and independent and systematic evaluation.

When I hear the words ‘Mental Health’ I always reflects on Jim Breen’s touching interview with That’s Farming.

The founder of Cycle Against Suicide is renowned for his ''It’s OK not to feel OK; and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help'' mantra.

‘‘There is so much hope out there for people. We are there for each other. We say shoulder to shoulder we can break the cycle of suicide on the island of Ireland. ’’ Jim told That’s Farming.

Breaking the Isolation trap- ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’

As someone who engages with numerous farmers on a weekly basis, many are doing the following:

  • Join a group/ organisation/ club/ group/ society.
  • Join a Men’s Shed.
  • Talk to someone that you trust about your problems.
  • Have another outlet from the farm.
  • Take up a sport. Become part of a team, join the gym or even go for a brisk walk daily.
  • Volunteer for a charity of non-profit organisation. – Do something to give back to your community.
  • Step up and take on a new challenge. – Tick items off your lifetime bucket list. Learn to play an instrument, a new language, sign-up for an educational course.
  • Minimise stress.
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Seek the advice and expertise of your GP.
  • Look out for others.

Useful numbers:

  • Samaritans: 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org
  • Console: 1800 247 247 – (suicide prevention, self-harm, bereavement)
  • Aware: 1890 303 302 (depression, anxiety)
  • Pieta House: 01 601 0000 or email mary@pieta.ie- (suicide, self-harm)
  • Teen-Line Ireland: 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
  • Childline: 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

Take a look at the video below for World Suicide Prevention Day.


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