A Galway councillor is set to address an upcoming major international conference on suicide.
Cllr Peter Roche will speak at the Console World Suicide Prevention Day conference at Croke Park on the human experience of suicide.
Speakers from the US and Australia will join the Cllr Roche at the conference hosted by RTE’s Mary Kennedy and Minister Kathleen Lynch on Friday 7 September.
The conference, marking Console’s tenth anniversary, will focus on the role of the community in providing crisis support and suicide prevention and postvention services.
The Tuam-based Fine Gael Councillor and his family tragically lost their son Colin to suicide over 18 months ago.
“Like many families before us, we were left devastated because of the choice that Colin made. Colin was an extremely popular and outgoing lad, talented at sport, music and singing. He was the life and soul of every party,” said Peter, who is also a Console Ambassador.
“Over the next weeks and months after someone takes their own life, you torture yourself over what has happened, why it has happened, and whether there were signs that we could have picked up on. Every parent in this situation wrecks themselves wondering what it is, right now, that you can do to make a difference.”
Cllr Roche said that he wanted to “play his part” in reassuring others that there is a “very definite alternative choice”.
“I always say that suicide is a very permanent solution to the temporary problem. It is that temporary problem that Console is so effective at dealing with,” said Peter.
Console, the nationwide professional suicide prevention and bereavement charity, offers counselling services and 24-hour helpline support to people in crisis and those bereaved by suicide.
They offer professional human contact on a 24-hour a day, seven days a week basis in Galway and have recently opened an outreach service in Swinford, Co Mayo. Counselling is available for any individual, couples, families or children who have been affected by suicide, or contemplating suicide.
Community structure is the theme of this year’s conference, with speakers from the US and Australia detailing how they have set up pre and postvention structures across a range of organisations to provide that community for people in crisis.
Radio presenter Ray Darcy will also speak at the conference, which is of benefit to anyone working in a care-giving role or with a more general interest in suicide prevention and postvention.
The charity is also holding a Mayo Memorial Walk on Sunday 16 September 16 at the Gateway Hotel, Swinford at 2pm.
Details of the conference booking are available on www.console.ie or by calling 01-6102638.