A WEST Cork woman, determined that others would avoid her situation, has won the Cork Person of the Month award for her work on suicide prevention.
When Noreen Murphy lost her husband Donal to suicide in 2007, there was no service to help her in her area.
Showing incredible initiative years later, Noreen established Lisheens House West Cork Suicide Prevention Service so that others would never again be in that position.
To mark her charity’s success, she has been honoured with the May award and her name now also goes forward for possible selection as Cork Person of the Year next January.
‘I hope this award will further promote our services of free counselling to people at risk of suicide, self-harm and mental health illness and we have now established accredited counsellors in every town in West Cork,’ said Noreen.
‘I named the charity Lisheens House after the house we built as our family home in Kealkil outside Bantry. Donal loved his house but battled with his illness and I know if he could have seen beyond his pain, he would not have done what he did to himself and to his family, so I wanted others to find peace and comfort in Lisheens House, the place he worked so hard to create.’
It costs €100,000 annually to operate the charity today, so Noreen, with the help of family and volunteers, spends the whole year fundraising. She has opened a charity shop in Skibbereen and is always looking for new volunteers and new fundraising ideas.
She is currently giving talks on mental health at Cork city and county schools, and wants young people involved in her charity. Noreen also recently secured a new building in Skibbereen to accommodate the extended range of services on offer. Full details can be found on her website www.lisheenshouse.ie.