A UNIQUE and engaging suicide awareness course has taken place in Limavady in a bid to save local lives.
Hosted by the Limavady Wolfhounds and facilitated by Paddy McNicholl, the Connections Suicide Awareness training session took place last Thursday evening (January 31) at St Mary’s High School.
Many dedicated members of the community attended the awareness session including volunteers from LIPS (Limavady Initiative for the Prevention of Suicide) and neighbouring clubs of Glack, Magilligan, Drumsurn and Faughanvale.
Committee Members, Emma Loughrey and Andrew Doherty had decided to arrange the course after they were informed it was being offered elsewhere.
Emma told the Northern Constitution: “We as a committee and a club are aware of a lot of suicides within the local area over the years so everyone was really supportive of bringing this type of course to the town.
“It was a very successful night as it certainly increased my awareness and I feel that everyone who attended took something useful away from it.”
“Suicide is one of those very difficult subjects that people don't like to talk about so the course was all about trying to be aware of how we can help those in need by listening and talking to people and not being afraid to ask questions or find out how others are feeling.”
According to Emma, as well as raising awareness of how we can help others who are feeling low, the unique session also highlighted the importance of self-care.
She continued: “It was very useful and interactive as it also taught us about self-help.
“Each of us were given a road map and a car which represented our life travelling along the road.
“We represented difficult times as bumps in the road with a stone but we also had to tell the group about the things that brought us joy in our lives.
“It was interesting to look at it in a symbolic way.”
Also in attendance were members of suicide awareness charity, LIPS, who have been working hard to promote their message within the town over the last few years.
Emma continued: “We were informed at the course of a variety of immediate response teams which are available and LIPS were also mentioned.
“They also gave us information for our club and explained to us about the assist training which is ongoing throughout the year.
“They seem to have a very supportive network and I think that's what our club has too as we have received a lot of support in bringing this course to the town.”
Emma went on to give thanks to those who had taken the time to attend the course and also to those who helped promote the worthwhile session.
She said: “I would like to thank St Marys school and their caretaker, Aaron Brolly - they were so obliging giving us space to work in.
“I would also like to thank Paddy Mc Nicholl who took the session and our Club Secretary, James Roddy who was brilliant for the promotion of the course.”
Emma concluded: “As a club and committee, we are very much a big family and community within itself.
“It's great having the support, friendship, and people to rely on.
“Everyone has always been hard-working and supportive and with courses like this, you always come back with something new and beneficial to your life.”