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18/09/2021

Limerick vigil to send a message of hope to mark World Suicide Prevention Day

 Limerick vigil to send a message of hope to mark World Suicide Prevention Day

‘A message of hope’: The 2019 World Suicide Prevention Day vigil in Arthur’s Quay Park | PICTURE: Brendan Gleeson

A MESSAGE of hope will emanate from Arthur’s Quay Park this Friday night as people remember loved ones who have lost their lives to suicide.

As dusk arrives in the city, people will gather to mark World Suicide Prevention Day, an annual awareness day which aims to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides.

This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, World Suicide Prevention Day takes​ place in the same month as the Green Ribbon campaign which aims to reduce the stigma around mental health issues.

Normally, this would take place in May, but it was postponed from then.

The vigil will take place from 7.30pm in Arthur’s Quay Park, with a moment of silence observed at 8pm to remember loved ones who have died by suicide.​ It’s a scene which will be reflected worldwide.

The vigil’s organiser Amanda Clifford, of ABC for Mental Health said: “The theme this year is ‘Creating Hope through Action’. We can all make a difference.”

“Like every year, we have brought candles which we will give out to everyone who comes, and we will write ‘Hope’ in big letters in the middle of Arthur's Quay Park.

“At 8pm all around the world, we stand together to remember those who have died through suicide, or those who are lost at the moment and need a light to guide them home,” she added.

As well as this vigil, Amanda said, many other events are taking place across the city through the month.

Every Tuesday, a special talk will take place at the Hunt Museum, while the Urban Co-Op at the Ballysimon Road will see Wellness Wednesday taking place from 2pm to 5pm, Amanda added.

The same venue will play host to a family day on September 18, where there will be art therapy for children, while alternative therapeutic ideas will be on offer for grown-ups.

Amanda said: “It's to show people no matter who they are, there are different types of treatment that can help you in different kinds of ways to help with your wellbeing and mental health. Every year, Green Ribbon is about how we can all make a difference. We can all help, we can all listen, we can all share. We can all talk, and all connect.”

The Arthur’s Quay Park vigil has traditionally drawn a large attendance, but with the pandemic, social distancing must remain the order of the day.

“Usually, we go shoulder to shoulder in a circle, but this year we won't do this. We'll make sure we are a couple of metres apart. But it is a worldwide event at 8pm and we do ask everyone to light a candle,” Amanda said.

All are welcome at the vigil. For more information on other events click here.

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