COLAISTE Pobail Bheanntraí, Schull Community College, Mercy Heights Secondary School in Skibbereen and Clonakilty Community College, have all been named as ‘Anchor Schools’ for the 2015 Cycle Against Suicide. The cycle starts in Belfast on Monday April 27 before finishing in Dublin on May 10th.
Colaiste Pobail Bheanntraí will welcome around 1,000 cyclists on Monday May 4th and Bantry will host the overnight stop that evening. Colaiste Pobail Bheanntraí, together with Cycle Against Suicide, will organise a mental health event comprising presentations, videos, music, celebrity speakers and an exhibition of local mental health services the following morning.
The cycle will then make its way to Schull for the afternoon stop before arriving in Skibbereen that evening.
Jacinta O’Connor, the Link teacher for Colaiste Pobail Bheanntraí said the school was delighted to host this important event and welcome the cyclists to Bantry. ‘The impact of this type of activity is powerful and far-reaching, not just in our schools, but also in the community at large. It gets the conversation around mental health going in the community and shows the support services that are available to those that need them,’ she said.
She added that promoting positive mental health practices in schools and communities is an important task. ‘By becoming an Anchor School, and partnering with Cycle Against Suicide, we can continue to raise awareness of the issues around mental health and suicide. It’s about encouraging people to know it’s absolutely okay to ask for help,’ she said.
Cycle Against Suicide founder Jim Breen said that Cycle Against Suicide had been ‘blown away’ by the phenomenal response from the schools involved in the cycle in this, the third year of the event.
Cycle Against Suicide offers a Homestay programme, which sees homeowners across the island providing a bed and hot meal to participants in the cycle. Cycle Against Suicide Homestay co-ordinator Dudley Farrell said there was still time for people living in the Bantry area to offer accommodation to participants for a night when the cycle passes through.
If you would like to provide Homestay accommodation when Cycle Against Suicide visits Bantry, send an email to [email protected]
If you would like to volunteer with Cycle Against Suicide, please send an email to [email protected]
Further information on Cycle Against Suicide on www.cycleagainstsuicide.com, where you can also register for some, or all, of the 14 days of the Cycle Against Suicide 2015.