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TOPPLE graduates lifesaving achievement recognised by Limerick Mayor



TOPPLE graduates pictured with the Mayor of Limerick, Francis Foley who presented graduates with certificates marking their achievements.

TOPPLE graduates were welcomed to the Limerick City Hall chambers with their family members to be recognised for their efforts by Mayor of Limerick Francis Foley

Mayor of Limerick Francis Foley welcomed recent graduates of TOPPLE (The Overdose Prevention Peer Learning Experience) to the Limerick City Hall chambers with members of their families to present them with certificates of achievement to mark their graduation from this life saving NOVAS training programme.

NOVAS Health & Recovery Manager Julie McKenna explained that TOPPLE was developed by NOVAS to teach clients how to recognise the signs of a potential overdose, how to alert emergency services, how to provide immediate first aid and importantly, how to support someone who has recently experienced an overdose to prevent a reoccurrence. She noted that the value of TOPPLE was recognized when it won the Best Patient Lifestyle Education Award at the Irish Healthcare Awards in 2014.

Sadly, drug-related deaths in Ireland are three times higher than the European average according to the most recent statistics. 48 per cent of drug-related deaths in Ireland were a direct result of poisoning by overdose and the rest resulted from other medical emergencies such as heart failure resulting from drug use. Three in five deaths from drug use occurred while a person was alone.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Una Deasy, CEO of NOVAS said “We are so proud of the effort these clients have put into developing their skills and we know from experience that these clients will go on to save lives in their community. Understanding how to reduce harm, keep people safe and share the knowledge they have learned will have huge knock-on impacts”

The NOVAS Health & Recovery team look forward to welcoming more clients through this important training in the coming year as they look to expand this programme, which was developed in Limerick, into a national service. NOVAS offers housing and support services to those at risk of, or experiencing homelessness with particular expertise in the areas of addiction, recovery and mental health.

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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.