Limerick Suicide Watch is now operating 7 days a week doing 4 Suicide Prevention Foot Patrols and awareness talks and events.

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Limerick Suicide Watch has enlisted over 70 volunteers, completing 5540 man hours patrolling from May 2020 to May 2021, saving over 108 people.

“We would like the take this opportunity to thank our outgoing committee and officers and their families for their continued support and ongoing work within the group. All the time and support from each of our members is greatly appreciated, without all the members we have within our group LSW would not be what it is today.”

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Limerick Suicide Watch would also like to announce the new committee for 2021/2022
Chairperson: Yvonne Cook
Vice Chairperson: Alex Henriques
Secretary: Shirley Johnston
Treasurer: Ann Slattery
Welfare: Joan Forde
PRO: Elaine Leahy

Officers Roles:
Training Officers:
Sarah Culhane and Tim Hourigan
Recruitment Officers:
Denis Healy and Helena Hanrahan
Child Protection Officer: Stacey Markham
Welfare Officers: Richie Ryan, Kate Flynn, Liga Kalnina, Sarah Jane McMahon & Gary Ledger
First Aid Officer: Jennifer O’Sullivan
Equipment Officer: Linda Callan
Health and Safety Officer: Tom Sheahan
Patrol Roster Coordinator: Mark O’Shaughnessy

An insight into LSW
Limerick Suicide Watch established in May 2016 is now operating 7 days a week doing 4 Suicide Prevention Foot Patrols and awareness talks and events.
We have grown from strength to strength enlisting over 70 volunteers from all walks of life, completing 5540 man hours patrolling from May 2020 to May 2021, saving over 108 people between full interventions and incidents in this time from entering the river Shannon and having got them to safety whether it be to local services or home to family or friends. September and October had the highest incidence rate with a total of 27 for these two months alone.
The people we meet may have a number of different reasons for wanting to end their life ranging from, mental health, drugs, alcohol, addiction, family, and so on. Our volunteers offer a non-judgemental and confidential listening ear to those who want to talk.

Limerick Suicide Watch App
Limerick Suicide Watch’s APP Development has had 225,400 views since launched.
Limerick Suicide Watch launched their App on the 28th September 2018 as part of their Awareness Programme. It is a one stop shop for people to access a wide number of Limerick services at a click of a button. There is a section on the app that is listed as Help Services, it provides several services ranging from Mental Health, Family Support, Drug and Alcohol, LGBTQ and Homeless Services.
There is a direct phone number , an email address in the case a person doesn’t feel comfortable phoning and what is brilliant its connected to Google Maps, giving people the location of the service, some people may not know where the service is or be from Limerick City.
It can be Downloaded from their website limericksuicidewatch.ie free of charge.

Awareness Programme
While the pandemic has put a lot of face to face talks and presentations on hold we have successfully held a number of talks on zoom. However, we hope to get back on the road again soon and into Schools, Colleges, Businesses and Community Groups making people aware of how Limerick Suicide Watch operate their foot patrols, Suicide Prevention, Mental Health Awareness and most importantly encouraging people to talk.
Along with awareness, we are also able to provide support to other charities and fundraising events. Recently we provided riverside support for the Limerick Pride Swim Parade, we also marshalled for Pieta House’s Darkness Into Light and in the coming weeks we will support the Rape Crisis Mid West Kayaking event. It is an honour to be able to provide the support and create awareness while doing so.
We are also delighted to become a part of The Humanli Family, specialists in Social Impact dedicated to making a lasting positive impact on Irish communities. A great partnership which we hope will have the lasting impact and funding needed.
 
Community Outreach Programme
In June 2019 Limerick Suicide Watch rolled out the Community Outreach Programme.  In the coming weeks our volunteers hope to be out travelling in our Mobile Support Unit to different communities in both Limerick city and county.
They welcome the public to come over and say hello, have a chat and learn about what we at Limerick Suicide Watch do. Our trained Volunteers will be there to talk with anyone who might be feeling distressed or simply looking for advice whether for themselves or someone they might know. If any community would like them to come visit send an email to [email protected]  

Story Teller
LSW are in the process of putting together a ‘story teller’ link. A huge thank you to Marion Kiely for approaching us with not only the idea but also her expertise in putting this together for us.
This link is like a survey but much more engaging and will allow anyone to submit their stories which in turn will help us get more information on mental health, what are triggers, backgrounds etc. and will also be a great platform for people to tell their story anonymously – some may be positive, and some may not but is a great opportunity for people to tell their story without judgement or publicity.

Thank You
All the Limerick Suicide Watch volunteers are extremely thankful for the fantastic support of the people of Limerick and surrounding communities, companies and services. Without their support, generosity and fundraising their Registered Charity would not be here today, expresses the groups Public Relations Officer Elaine Leahy.
Elaine also thanked the family and friends of the members who without their support we would not be able to cover the patrol hours that we do. The free time our volunteers give to LSW is invaluable and each member plays a huge part in the LSW Family.
 Having the support allows us to do our foot patrols, have the correct safety equipment and uniforms and above all provide mandatory training for over 70 members which consists of ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) CPR, First Aid, Defibrillator, Child Protection, Ligature Training, Throw Bag Training, Role Play, Man in the water training with Limerick Marine Search and Rescue, and Radio Training. Having the correct skills enables our volunteers to ensure safety for the volunteers and members of public they meet.

 We are very very fortunate to have the support of Shannon Properties who have generously allowed us use their premises in the Tait Business Centre, a place we can store all our equipment and get together both before and after patrols. Their support has been a big part of what has kept us going and for that we are eternally grateful.
We have big plans moving forward to increase our services to the people of Limerick, and at some stage we would hope to have premises close the to the river of our own which would allow us to create and adapt to the needs of Limerick and possibly provide more riverside services, not only to those in distress but for their families also. For a new premise to be viable we are hugely reliant on the public to raise funds as we are not government funded.
Fundraising over the last year has been a struggle in some ways, but so many people and companies took on new challenges and events in a virtual way and to say we have been blown away with the enthusiasm to help us would be an understatement!
We hope to have a further recruitment drive in the coming months, when this is open there will be a link on our website for those looking to volunteer. Volunteers must commit to a minimum 3 nights patrol per month, one being a Saturday. All volunteers must undertake essential training and courses and be over 25 years of age and garda vetted.

Message from our Chairperson
I’m honoured to be taking on the role of Chairperson at Limerick Suicide Watch. I have been a member of LSW since 2016. In addition to patrolling, I have been Treasurer for 5 years and training officer for a year. I want to thank everyone at LSW and beyond for all the fantastic support and good wishes as we embark on the challenges of the year head. LSW and their families are a fantastic group of people, and I am very proud to be representing them. We have big plans in motion for the coming year and into the future, our ultimate goal is to have more support available for people in distress. We look forward to the continued support of the public, all the emergency services including Limerick marine search and rescue who also operate on a voluntary basis, the business community, local government, and community groups.
I’ve seen the difference LSW makes helping someone in distress and very proud to be part of fantastic team. A mother came up to me at a charity event we were helping with and said are you Yvonne part of the team that saved my sons life? She hugged me, and we both cried – a year ago he was saved by LSW and now he his back in college got a girlfriend. That is the difference LSW makes to people’s lives…
Lastly and most importantly I want to thank my wife Eileen Roe for all her support, encouragement and help.