By BRIAN MOORE
A NEW booklet which aims to support those who have been bereaved through suicide in West Cork was launched last week in Bantry.
Lighting the Way – West Cork is a collaboration between various organisations, such as the Health Service Executive (HSE) and An Garda Síochána, as well as local Foróige groups, the Caha Centre, the Dunmanway Resource Centre, the West Cork Travellers group, the Skibbereen Community and Family Resource Centre and the Bantry Bay Lions Club.
‘When a family, workplace or community experiences the loss of someone through suicide, their level of heartache, anguish, pain and confusion can be overwhelming,’ Helena Cogan, HSE South resource officer for suicide prevention, told The Southern Star.
‘It is hoped that the Lighting The Way – West Cork will provide information on both a practical and emotional level by outlining details of local and national supports available to those bereaved or affected by such a loss that are consistent, attainable and valuable at such a difficult time,’ added Helena.
The new booklet will be provided to all frontline support organisations throughout West Cork and contains helpful and useful information for those attempting to come to terms with the loss of a loved one.
The booklet is currently being distributed to local services in the West Cork area. It will be available as a first response support that the gardaí can leave with a family, individual or service after they have experienced a loss through suicide.
It will also be available for professionals and community services as a signposting resource and information pack when they come into contact with those who are bereaved.
‘But ultimately it is hoped that those who are bereaved through suicide will utilise this resource to access and avail of the supports, both at local and national level,’ explained Helen.
This is the first edition, which has been specifically designed for the West Cork region.
‘The launch in a word was ‘beautiful’, the contribution of the Through Light and Sound Ritual created by Tragumna-based artist Tomasz Madajzcak, with The Happiness Ensemble and the Uillinn West Cork Art Centre, along with the ‘Pathway of Light’ created by Nora Lynch of the Bantry Bay Lions Club was gently honouring, and invited hope and possibilities for healing and transformation,’ added Helen.
The booklet was designed by Charlotte Donovan, and its creation was funded in part by the generous donations of the Bantry ICA and both the Durrus and Bantry Chevals.
‘This resource and its launch was very much created by the people of West Cork, to wrap a light of hope and love around those in their community who are bereaved by suicide.’