Pictured: Kelly McCarthy, organiser of the walk, gathered with supporters outside Our Lady of Lourdes Church.
A walk in aid of suicide and depression awareness was held on Sun July 26, starting at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Despite the gloomy weather, crowds gathered in raincoats and maintained a cheerful outlook, posing for photos and remembering those they had lost to suicide.
Kelly McCarthy, organiser of the walk, spoke about why she had planned the event: ‘I’m trying to open a centre in September, for families who have lost people through suicide. There will be professional councillors there to talk to anyone.
‘People can just meet and chat and the locals can go and tell stories and talk about their experiences with depression. Anyone at all can come for the free services. This walk is just the start of what we’re doing to get the centre in September in this neighbourhood.’
Kelly has personal reasons for organising this walk, with past experiences with suicide: ‘My cousin killed herself seven years ago. First I just blocked it out like everyone does, but there has been so many suicides lately, and I thought that something has to be done.’
‘We just need people to come together, because it’s only together that we can make a change. We really need everybody’s support.’
Leona O’ Callaghan, who has suffered with depression in the past, showed her support at the walk and spoke to the huddled crowd, giving advice: ‘If you think someone is in trouble, ask the awkward questions. It’s also important to remember that there is only so much you can do. Depression can’t just be fixed and professional help is needed.
‘I do honestly believe that we can change how depression is addressed, once we change our own mind-set, and once we get in touch with the right supports. People will hear us if we make enough noise.’
Colourful signs were made for the event, where people had commemorated those they lost, writing down their names along with positive and hopeful messages for the future. Hope was the focus of the day for everyone involved; hope to prevent further suicides and create awareness of depression, and hope that the much-needed centre will be built in September in their neighbourhood.
This walk is just one of the many events that will be taking place in the run up to September.
Read about the Corbett Suicide Prevention Patrols here
Read more about suicide prevention here
Read about depression awareness here
Read more about suicide prevention in Limerick here