24-hour river patrol to raise awareness of mental health supports

Members of the Limerick Treaty Suicide Prevention Group ready for a night-time patrol.

THEY usually only come out at night in their dealings with the worst kind of darkness, but this Friday members of Limerick Treaty Suicide Prevention are stepping out into the light.

The volunteers are planning a 24-hour patrol, which started at at 6am on this morning (Friday, December 8) and ending at 6am the following day, with five members signing up for the whole 24-hour stint and banding in as their day jobs allow.

And, this evening at 6pm, the group will be shining a bright beacon in the darkness as they light up their Christmas tree on Harvey’s Quay and welcome the arrival of Santa on his sleigh.

“We want to give something back and be there for a lot more people we try to help,” Michelle Meaney, chairperson of the group, told the Limerick Post.

The group does a 24-hour patrol twice a year to publicise the work of services such as Pieta House, “to let people know that there is help there during the day as well,” Michelle explains.

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“We also come in contact with a lot of homeless people and people battling addiction, so we will be bringing things like sleeping bags that would help them.”

The Santa visit and lighting up the tree is also to “throw some positive light on the river, which can have dark connotations”.

“Santa will have a small gift for any child that arrives. It promises to be great fun and we’re looking forward to the challenge of the 24 -our patrol,” said Michelle.

The marathon patrol is not aimed at raising funds for the wholly voluntary service, but donations to support their work can be made on the group’s fundraising page at idonate.ie/cause/5550_limerick-treaty-suicide-prevention.