News : 4,000 Calls a Month to Suicide Helpline
June 5, 2014 -- The helpline of the national suicide charity, Console, is now receiving over 4,000 calls per month.
The charity has just launched a new helpline number that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and according to its founder and CEO, Paul Kelly, this is much more than just a listening service.
"We now see not only people in suicidal crisis, but also their parents, friends and work colleagues calling for advice or referrals. Our helpline is a lifeline service, providing immediate intervention from highly-trained counsellors and clinicians who will refer callers to the services that they need. This is a lot different from providing a traditional listening service," he noted.
Last week, figures from the Central Statistics Office revealed a 23% fall in the number of suicides among young people. However, Ireland still has the fourth highest suicide rate in the EU among people aged between 15 and 24.
"We have seen an increase in calls from young people, and in some cases, these are people who may have lost a friend through suicide and they are worried about their own safety. The helpline has also seen a marked change in the amount of calls from males over 30, which is an indication that a previously silent demographic is beginning to seek help when in crisis," Mr Kelly said.
He also pointed out that the helpline provides an out-of-hours services ‘that will back up the state services that are out there but may not be available'.
This Saturday (June 7), more than 250 volunteers will be cycling 200km across the country to spread the message about the new helpline number.
"We will be handing out Console 1800 247 247 wristbands and other information en route so people are aware that hope and help are always available at Console," Mr Kelly added.
The helpline can be reached at any time, free of charge, on 1800 247 247. More information on Console is also available on its website.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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The Console 24/7 Suicide Helpline – 1800 247 247 – is available to anyone who is in suicidal crisis, to anyone who is concerned for someone else who may be in suicidal crisis, and for those who have been bereaved by suicide. It is a free professional counselling service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and aims to provide callers with support, advice and where appropriate, referral services.
Published: Monday, June 9, 2014