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Haven Hub Zoom in on Suicide Prevention in Limerick

The Haven Hub is offering Zoom training sessions during Covid 19. Pictured above are Haven Hub administration members Leona O’Callaghan and John Nugent.

Haven Hub Zoom in on Suicide Prevention in Limerick

The Haven Hub Suicide Prevention Organisation in Limerick has proactively altered their services and supports in Limerick in line with the restrictions for Covid 19. They have now trained over 100 people in QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Suicide Prevention Skills. 

The organisation serves as a support system for people suffering from mental health issues or have been affected by suicide. At the Haven Hub, people can talk with trained volunteers in suicide prevention, learn more about suicide prevention and even receive counselling.



Now with Covid 19 preventing in-person meetups, the hub instead took to Zoom as a way to train more volunteers. They have programmes taking place on a weekly basis to provide suicide prevention training free of charge through Zoom to any members of the public. 

Chairperson of the Haven Hub and facilitator of QPR Training Leona O’Callaghan explains the reasons for focussing on this training saying, “QPR has certified Suicide Prevention Training that will help people to recognise warning signs, talk comfortably about suicide, help the person to keep safe and refer them to the appropriate supports to recover.”

“Like CPR helps people to know how to appropriately respond to a crisis in the event of a heart attack, QPR helps people to respond appropriately to a mental health crisis. With the right response and support, the chances of surviving that crisis improve dramatically and this is how suicide can be prevented. We want to roll out QPR to teachers, parents, employers, employees, sports organisations and anybody who may interact with a person in their lowest moments as Suicide is everyone’s business,” Leona said.

Together with increasing training in QPR, the Haven hub have also started providing their volunteers with MAPA (Management of Actual and Potential Aggression) Training so that volunteers have the skills to cope with difficult interventions. The Haven hub have done extensive research into the supports available in the community and also provide training in the navigation of services. They want a higher awareness of the services out there that can help people in their distress. 

Her co-facilitator and Treasurer of the Haven Hub, John Nugent continued talking about the pandemic and how harmful it is to people with mental health issues saying, “After the current epidemic we expect an increase in mental health issues so we have picked this time to proactively provide training to combat this issue as isolation can often push people over the edge. We thank the community in fundraising efforts in making this training possible to provide as The Haven hub relies solely on fundraising. The Haven Hub is a prime example of unity in the community as too often Limerick has lost our best assets through suicide, that is our people. With QPR training we hope to reduce stigma, increase awareness and reduce the number of people that take their own lives in an effort to end their pain.”

During the epidemic, the Haven Hub have also extended their working hours to provide phone support 7 days a week from 6pm to 3.30am for people struggling to cope (Tel 085 2019250). There are also two other committee members training in facilitation to increase the training opportunities provided by the Haven Hub over the coming months.

If you are interested in taking part in QPR Suicide Prevention Training email [email protected].

To donate to the Haven Hub, click here.

For more stories on the Haven Hub, click here.

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.