SUICIDE rates in county Limerick have seen a dramatic drop because of the success of the “Talk to Me” programme, according to coroner Brendan Nix SC.
Mr Nix made his comments after the coroner’s court conducted its third session in which death by suicide was not among the verdicts of the five cases listed for hearing.
Describing it as an extended “purple patch”, the coroner said that for six to eight months, suicide rates had declined and the programme had been really successful. He added that all involved had to be thanked for what they had done in maintaining relations within the community.
“The main feature is just to keep talking, tell them you love them and keep the conversation going”, he said.
Mr Nix explained that the coroner’s court was the “people’s court, a court of no mystery or secret” as he invited people to ask questions whenever they felt they needed more information about their lost loved ones.
He then went on to remark that it was the third sitting of the county coroner’s court where there was no recorded suicide in West Limerick.
“We went through a terrible time where this was a scathe in our society but talking helps. Keep talking, let them hear you voice. There is nothing that is insurmountable”. he said.
“In recent times, incidents of suicide in Limerick City have gone from bad to worse but rates of suicide in the county has reduced itself. Let us be thankful for that”, he added.
Praising the efforts of the Gardaí, the fire service and the ambulance drivers, Mr Nix said that “when the kids come out of the discos, they have no phone credit.
“Up to recently, they had to pay to phone the Samaratians but now it’s free. The kids ring 999 and they get through to the services and they could spend hours talking to them. So the Talk to Me programme has helped greatly”.
“it’s just about keep talking – it started by word of mouth and we just want to keep the conversation going.”