The Haven Hub volunteers who will serve the new centre in Ennis
A LIMERICK support centre which helps those in distress is to expand to a new location and increase its services.
The Haven Hub, which is based at Steamboat Quay, says it has experienced a spike in need for its services, but also a rise in reported suicides across the past number of weeks.
As a result of this, volunteers have made efforts to expand their services.
Here in Limerick, this will see the delivery of a number of courses to the public free of charge including mental health first aid, wellness recovery, emotion regulation, distress tolerance skills and suicide prevention training.
A second crisis centre will open in the Clare town of Ennis, and like Limerick, it will offer peer support to anyone struggling with a low mood or at risk late at night.
Haven Hub Limerick founder Leona O’Callaghan said: "Suicide has affected so many people in both Limerick and Clare. The most tragic part about that is how preventable suicide is. If experts alone could prevent suicide then we would not have an epidemic. In reality what people need in their darkest moments is connection, someone to hold hope for them when they have lost it for themselves. Someone to help them stay safe when they can no longer do that for themselves."
"We are delighted that Ennis town will now have its own Haven Hub that will provide that compassion and support late at night which is the peak time for suicide. The new team are some of the most awesome people I have met. We have also worked very hard to get instructor training on a number of wellness courses that we will deliver free to the public as prevention is always better than cure," she added.
It was Ennis woman Tina Whelan who reached out to Leona for help in bringing the Haven Hub to Ennis.
She said: "I saw the idea of the Haven Hub Limerick when I needed to engage with their services for a family friend. I had to approach Limerick as there wasn't any such service in Ennis. We have a mental health crisis and the more services the better, it is appalling to think a person cannot get the help they need when in crisis.We will provide a compassionate, non-judgemental service where a person can come in to see us, have a cup of tea and a chat. All our volunteers will be trained in suicide prevention."
On October 8 next, there will be an event to launch the opening of the Haven Hub in Ennis. Here, members of the public can purchase lanterns for a Light The Night event at 8pm to remember loved ones who have passed or those who have lost their lives to suicide.
The lighting lanterns will be launched into the river at 7.30pm at Sandfield and will finish at Steeles Rock. Clare Civil Defence and Ennis Sub Aqua Club will be on hand with safety equipment.
The Haven Hub in Ennis will be based in the Clare Public Participation Building, at the back of the adult education centre in the Clonroad business park, and will open on October 16.
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