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Timely move by suicide and self harm charity

Mr Brian Higgins, CEO of Pieta House.

Mr Brian Higgins, CEO of Pieta House.

IT is hoped that a ‘Pieta House’ suicide and self-harm crisis centre will open in the north west as early as next year.

The first Pieta House was founded in Lucan, County Dublin in 2006. With nine centres throughout Ireland, it provides a professional, one-to-one therapeutic service for those who are experiencing suicidal ideation or engaging in self-harm.

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The nearest one to Donegal is in Tuam, County Galway.

However, at a press conference in Letterkenny on Friday, the new CEO of the charity, Mr Brian Higgins, said he is confident that will change in 2017.

“The people of Donegal have really taken on board this issue and have showed phenomenal support to Pieta House through Darkness into Light and other events,” he explained.
“The reality is that we are likely to see a real physical response to that in 2017, as well as a roll-out of our resilience programmes in the county this year.”

His comments will be welcome, in light of the revelation in Friday’s Donegal News that the HSE issued warning letters to local GPs and held public meetings following several suicides in the county in recent months.

Meanwhile, last November, hundreds attended an information meeting on the Pieta House issue in Jackson’s Hotel when it was revealed that a number of potential properties were being looked at in the county in which to base the service.

In addition, a committee called ‘Action for Hope’ was set up last month to raise awareness and promote funding for the establishment of a Pieta House in the region.

It’s co-ordinator, Mr Danny Devlin, said they have already started fund-raising and are looking to raise in the region of €180,000 to €200,000 to set up and sustain a Pieta House here.

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For further information on Action for Hope, or to organise a fund-raising event, log on to their Facebook page, email actionforhope1@gmail.com or call the Pieta House West office in Galway on 093 25596.

See Monday’s Donegal News for full report, or subscribe to our digital edition.

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