Shining a light for people coping with loss to suicide

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photo-2955A MEMORIAL service will take place in the city this weekend to give families and friends the chance to remember loved ones lost to suicide.

WITH Limerick having the highest suicide rate in Ireland, Console’s upcoming Christmas Celebration of Light, has special significance for the city.

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The event, which takes place at St Augustine’s Church on O’Connell Street this Sunday at 4pm, is one of seven being held by the national suicide prevention and bereavement charity. Over 5,000 people are expected to attend nationwide.

According to Console founder and CEO, Paul Kelly, the event provides a gentle and understanding environment for families and friends to remember their loved ones and celebrate their lives.

“The loss of a loved one is always devastating, but when that loss is through suicide it can be so much harder for the families and friends left behind,” said Mr Kelly.

This Sunday’s event at the Augustinians promises a mixture of song, music, poetry and reflection. It also includes the lighting of candles and a minute’s silence to remember those who have died by suicide.

“This special service is one of the most important events in the Console calendar as it gives families and friends the opportunity to come together in solidarity to honour the lives of their loved ones,” said Paul, who founded the organisation after his sister Sharon took her own life at the age of 21.

Booking is optional for the Christmas Celebration of Light and booking forms and details on sponsoring a light are available on www.console.ie. Console offers counselling services and 24-hour helpline support to people in crisis and those bereaved by suicide.

The charity has a full-time centre in Limerick, at Console House, 114 The Grange, Raheen and is also in Dublin, Cork, Wexford, Galway, Mayo and Kildare.

Counselling is available for any individual, couples, families or children who have been affected by suicide. Console can be reached at any time on freephone 1800 201 890.