The newly opened Pieta House branch in Castleisland received a welcome funding boost last week as the Tralee based Open Arms Project closed. In winding up its business, the Open Arms Project donated its funding to support the new centre for the prevention of self-harm or suicide.
The Open Arms Project was established in 2011 by a group of young people affected by suicide. They set up to highlight the issue of suicide and to lobby and work for a centre for the prevention of suicide in Tralee.
Remove the Stigma
Catriona Locke of the project explained: “We got the community talking about suicide and therefore helped to remove the stigma attached. We also created awareness through education, fundraising and by remembering our loved ones lost to suicide. We would like to remember those who are no longer with us: our mentor Geraldine Dillon-Doyle who helped us get all of this off the ground and supported us in hard times; Sean Roche who was a member of the Open Arms Project and Hannah Kinsella whose anniversary occurs at this time of year.”
Now that the Open Arms Project is to close, the group feels that the important work started needs to continue and develop.
Cherrelle Kinsella Connolly of the Open Arms project said that Kerry has one of the highest suicide rates in Europe.
“This epidemic has to stop and people have to start reaching out. The group can’t stress enough the importance in accepting help and that it’s ok not to be ok!.”
Kindness and Support
She also acknowledged the support for the project, adding: “We would like to sincerely thank every single person who helped and supported the Open Arms Project in all the many ways. Your kindness and support through it all will never ever be forgotten.”
The Open Arms Project will now donate any funds it has remaining to Pieta House in Castleisland.
“The money we raised over the last three years was put back into the community for ‘Rememberance Days’ and ‘Peer Support Education’ and the remaining €5,186.81 will be donated to Pieta House in Castleisland. We felt this was the most suitable charity as the money raised was to help people in crisis and Pieta House does just that and we are urging people to take the help Pieta House offers,” said Ms. Locke.
Pieta House Kerry can be contacted on: 066 71 63660.