Week 13: Console is literally a life-saving support
Paul Kelly, CEO of suicide charity Console, tells Brenda McCormick about the work they do to help people affected
"Console was founded in 2002 by families who had experienced the devastating loss of someone close through suicide.
The organisation aims to provide a wide variety of suicide prevention and suicide bereavement counselling services, supports and helpline services all across Ireland.
Currently, Console operates counselling centres in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Wexford, Tralee, Mayo, Celbridge and Athlone.
We are particularly proud of our freephone Console 247 Suicide Helpline, which is available nationwide on 1800 247247 and is open day and night, 365 days every year.
I am the CEO of Console, which means I'm responsible for all the services we offer, and our attempting to address the needs of vulnerable individuals, families and communities.
I hope that our efforts go a long way in tackling the issue of suicide here in Ireland, and ultimately, reducing the numbers of deaths which occur every year by suicide.
I thoroughly enjoy working with such a fantastic team of staff, therapists and volunteers in Console.
Their dedication and professionalism is second-to-none and gives me wonderful encouragement and belief that we can be a life-saving support.
Console relies heavily on the generosity of the general public for their kind donations and tireless fundraising efforts; we need to raise about 75pc of operating income ourselves, and could not continue with our work without the support of our fundraisers.
One hundred percent of all funds raised by Console participants in the VHI Women's Mini Marathon will go directly to the provision of professional, free counselling services at Console centres nationwide, and the continued provision of our free crisis helpline, 24 hours every day.
For example, even a donation of just €30 will allow us to provide a free professional counselling, psychotherapy or child psychotherapy session to someone bereaved by suicide.
The Vhi Women's Mini Marathon is a hugely important event in our annual fundraising drive.
Not only are the funds raised crucial to our continued service delivery, but the awareness-raising that comes with the event is simply invaluable.
Sadly, a social stigma associated with suicide still exists in Ireland, but we know that with so many people wearing the Console T-shirt on June 1, and sharing our helpline number so publicly, many more people will make contact with us for some crucial support at a very difficult time in their lives.
For more information on Console, go to www.console.ie