North West STOP - reducing the number of deaths by suicide in our community

North West STOP - reducing the number of  deaths by suicide in our community

Shea Murray, Gavin Luby, Ryan Duffy, Padraic Duffy, Jamie Murray, Cian Love (supporter) and Joseph Murray during Cycle for Kyle

North West STOP was founded in Leitrim in 2004 by families who lost loved ones through suicide. North West STOP is a community-based voluntary organisation which strives to support individuals who feel at risk from thoughts of suicide. The group provides information and facilitates discussion on mental well-being.
The vision for the organisation of “Start Telling Others to Prevent” suicide was created by an objective to reduce the high incidence of death by suicide in the local community, a need for prompt response to people in crisis, together with a lack of adequate State services to cope with demand.

The name was changed to North West STOP to underline the organisation’s commitment to continuing its work in the Northwest of Ireland. The organisation has developed to provide free counselling to anyone who requests assistance if concerned about their mental well-being.

Chairman, Tom O’Reilly, pays tribute to the founding members: “Sean and Carmel Fallon are founder members and current Directors of North West STOP. By their consistent hard work, North West STOP has grown over the last few years to be the one of the main voluntary mental health support services in the Northwest. They donate their energy and time to the cause and their commitment shows from them just being there for people. In my time with the organisation I have been inspired by their dedication and hard work. The people of the Northwest are lucky to have people like Sean and Carmel.”

The challenges and uncertainties prevalent in our local community have led to an increasing need for accessible support. Problems are varied and extensive in coping with ‘How to live well and survive in modern society’. People of all ages and backgrounds can be affected by mental ill-health and at North West STOP we work with our clients to find ways to manage their mental well-being and we encourage clients to develop new and sustainable life-skills. North West STOP provides confidential and non-judgemental support in a person-centred approach to assist individuals through challenging times. Prevention of suicide is the aim of the organisation and we appeal to anyone who is concerned about their mental well-being to reach out to receive the best possible outcome.

Counselling is provided without charge within a matter of days, when requested.
Upon contact, our Counselling Coordinator matches each client to a suitable counsellor, depending on need and location. To arrange counselling, please phone or text 086 777 2009.

North West STOP are not currently funded by any Government body, yet continue to provide these vital services.
We could not do this without the exceptional generosity of the volunteers who give their time to organise events and to the general public who continue to donate.
We know our donors and volunteers do this from the heart. To us at North West STOP the accomplishments you have achieved show what resilience, strength and compassion you have.

You have supported each other by supporting us through the past 18 months. Comparing Q1 figures for 2020 and this year, North West STOP has noted a 62.5% increase in connecting with clients in our community; with a massive increase of 280% in donations during the same time period, the latter is due, in part, to securing a Facebook Donate button in April 2020.
Along with grant aid from LDCO, Cavan Local Development, Healthy Ireland and Leitrim Co. Co., we have received substantial corporate donations from SMBC, CCFR and are Charity of the Year 2021 for Abbott Nutrition, Carbury Point. Community groups have shown us huge support this year too: the Manorhamilton Girl’s Brigade chose us as their Charity of Choice for 2021. Friendship House, Tesco Community Funds and Niamh’s Journey have also shown their appreciation.

We are indebted to our stalwart organisers and donors who support us every year: Tullaghan Pony Drive, Tony Scanlon Walk for Life, Lough Allen College, LDCO, MCI, Costcutter Manorhamilton, Cavaliero Family Trust, Sligo Travellers Group, local GAA clubs, local Macra na Feirme, James Cull Memorial Tractor Run, EJs, McManus Pharmacy, Ocean FM and businesses, families and individuals who donate directly and often. Thank you for recognising the importance of our cause.
Our champions have done so much for mental health in the Northwest and West by showing us their support and we want to acknowledge their feats, big and small: You walked, jogged, ran, hiked, cycled, and swam, for two minutes or two thousand minutes, and more! For 1km, or 5km, a mini marathon, full marathon, and even 12 marathons in 12 days (we’re still in awe Liam!). From North to South and back again and all the way around the island of Ireland!

You climbed Croagh Patrick! You did 3100 burpees! You kicked, caught, volleyed, dribbled, headed a ball; whacked slíotars; danced ceilís; played instruments; spun decks and drank coffee, tea and apple juice or anything else in our honour! We are honoured to have all of you.
We raise our glass (virtually, of course!) to all of you who stood in the first queue seen outside Marius, Drumshanbo in months! To the Cluainín Carnival Collective who created a breathtaking spectacle in Manorhamilton in midwinter; the donors who remembered loved ones at our Christmas Tree of Hope and the TY students who hung the ribbons on the tree donated by Coillte.

To Santa Claus and his many helpers, who made it to Annaduff and to Sligo. To all who performed in Drumshanbo Irish Music Course’s first ever virtual concert and everyone from around the world who watched it on the night!

To those who jumped into icy waters around our communities, and those who stood in the Atlantic for 20 whole minutes! To those who grew and shaved beards and mo’s, or dyed their hair (we haven’t had a good waxing in a while though)!
The social distancing measures have made some fundraisers difficult this past 16 months but you rose to the challenge: delivering and collecting empty and full buckets (when permitted), wearing Christmas jumpers, knitting hats, sewing face coverings, selling face coverings, preparing and selling gift-boxes, greeting the sunrise.

To those of you who filled small villages in Sligo and Leitrim with the finest of tractors. To the 30 schools, homes and workplaces who took part in our annual Odd Socks Day during World Mental Health Week.

To all those who chose to support North West STOP instead of receiving birthday, anniversary or Christmas gifts, thank you. To families who collected donations in lieu of flowers after a loved one’s passing, may they Rest in Peace, and may we remember all those in whose memory you have created this legacy of hope and community. Great memories can be made from these events and you should be very proud.

There are some brilliant fundraising ideas out there: right now you can buy prints from artist, Emma Stroude and enter a draw to win 2 tickets to every event at the Rainbow Ballroom of Romance for an entire year!
There have been events postponed but we’re looking forward to them getting up and running again and we are inspired by each and every idea and crew that comes to us and we look forward to hearing more ideas!

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to keep up-to-date with events and fundraisers.
To the many, many people who have already organised an event, we say a big go raibh míle maith agat (a thousand thank yous)!

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