Cycle Against Suicide to wheel into Mullingar once again

The Cycle Against Suicide campaign is coming to Mullingar again this year, stopping overnight on May 2, and presenting a range of mental health talks in Mullingar Community College on the Sunday morning, May 3. The charity has extended a community-wide invite for all to attend.

Cycle Against Suicide is an awareness charity (CHY 20687) that contributes to the public education of mental health by changing the narrative on suicide.

Worldwide, suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds, and Ireland has the fourth highest suicide rate of 31 European countries in that age group.

According to the National Self Harm Registry (NSHR), the national rate of self-harm among males in Ireland was 193 per 100,000, 7% higher than 2017. Among females, the rate was 229 per 100,000 in 2018, 5% higher than 2017.

Cycle Against Suicide is working to reverse the trend and offer hope to those battling mental health problems, which are usually the root cause of suicidal behaviour.

Cycle Against Suicide, through its programmes, sets out to change culture and create a society that talks openly about suicide to allow people to speak up and seek help.

According to the World Health Organisation, communities can play a pivotal role in preventing suicide, and for these reason, communities are fundamental to the work of Cycle Against Suicide.

The organisation relies on neighbours, schools or workplaces to foster a sense of togetherness and promote the message that there is strength in vulnerability.

Cycle Against Suicide’s leading awareness campaign is the annual Main Cycle, this year from April 25 to May 3.

This campaign cycle promotes a key message to people in 63 towns and villages that: ‘It’s OK not to feel OK; and it is absolutely OK to ask for help’.

One of the core areas of their work is the schools programme. For the majority of adults living with mental health problems or mental illness, the onset of symptoms was when they were teenagers, and evidence shows that early intervention is critical if treatment is to have the most positive outcomes.

The schools programme culminates each year with the Student Leaders Congress. Cycle Against Suicide is currently working with 200 secondary schools across Ireland through cycles and other events.

Cycle Against Suicide recognises that one of the key problems that keeps people from speaking out about their mental health struggles is the current culture that sees mental illness as a sign of weakness and shames those who struggle with it.

When there is a cultural shift, then real change is possible as people are set free to seek the help they need.

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