b'Addressing the Stigma and Changing IrelandTheIrelandFundscontinuetheircommitmenttoFounder Joan Freeman explained how difficult it has been addressingtheissueofsuicideandself-harmacrossin Ireland to talk about suicide.the island of Ireland. Over $700,000 has been given toHistorically, Ireland has had a particularly complicated andorganizations that are addressing the issue and shaking off difficultrelationshipwithsuicide.Despiteanimproved the stigma of a topic that touches so many Irish families. awarenessofsuicideinIrishsocietythroughpersonal According to a recently published Global Health Survey experience and National Office of Suicide Prevention research,2011, almost a quarter of Irish people have had personal there still appears to be an unwillingness to openly discuss orexperience with mental illness or been affected by suicide debate the issue. In the past, a stigma attached to suicide led toin their age group. In any one week, 10+ people will die by under-reporting in coroner reports. Every day more people diesuicide in Ireland and even more will self-harm.throughsuicidethanroadtrafficaccident,yetsuicide Pieta House is one organization addressing the issue of prevention budgets do not reflect this. With suicide in Irelandsuicide and self-harm that has received support fromon the rise, it is very clear that there is a need for services likeThe Ireland Funds 2011 Grant Round enabled by the Pieta House. In 2009 there were 527 reported deaths by suicide,Promising Ireland Campaign. Founded in 2006 by Joan an increase of 24 per cent on the previous year. I feel that Freeman, a practicing psychologist who has dedicatedattitudes need to change if Ireland is to properly deal with theher career to working with those who are suicidal, theissue of suicide.organization has helped nearly 4,000 people in Ireland. One of the obstacles to Pieta House is getting people to seePieta House now has almost 60 therapists and staff andthat behind suicide is not always a psychiatric issue but is a in2011openedtwonewCentresinBallyfermotandreaction to a very human experience. We see that most peopleLimerick.who come to us have no psychiatric history but are reacting to alife event such as bereavement, or a relationship break up, What Makes Pieta House Unique? bullying, all those sort of things. Its trying to get that messageBy focusing on the immediate needs of people who areacross because there is still a stigma attached. Once people startin crisis, Pieta House provides key care to families and in- realisingwhatitis,thenwecandosomethingconcrete dividuals who once had only their local hospital to turn to. about it. Pieta House is not a long-term counseling service although The Ireland Funds have assisted Pieta House with atheyensurethatclientswhoneedtheselongertermgrantfocusingonprovidingone-to-onecounseling resourcescanaccessthem.Whetherreferredbyaservices for children and adolescents under the age of 18 atdoctor, family member, or friend, clients receive intense their Dublin location. This grant is enabled by our donorscounseling and one-to-one therapies. Clients in crisis can gifts to The Ireland Funds Promising Ireland Campaign.often be seen the same-day they contact Pieta House.But more than just the grant, The Ireland Funds haveOnceengaged,thepaceofthetreatmentishighlyhelped Pieta House look at itself in a new light. Joan individualized for each client though a typical engagement Freeman said of this support, The wonderful news is thatwould be between four to six weeks. Most importantly, the Promising Ireland Campaign is actually saving lives.services are entirely free of charge.The cost to Pieta House Our attitude towards ourselves has changed dramaticallytoprovidetheseservicesattheirfivecentresacrossbecause of The Ireland Funds. Before we saw ourselves as aIreland is over 1.3 million annually. Over 80% of theircharity, we no longer think of ourselves as a charity. Nowoperatingcostsmustbecoveredbyfundraisingandwe like to ask people to invest. donations. This is why funding from sources such as TheIreland Funds is so vital. PIETA HOUSE ULTIMATELY AIMS TO ESTABLISHADDITIONALREGIONALCENTRESTHATWILLALLOWTHEORGANIZATIONTOPROVIDE SERVICES WITHIN 60KM TO EVERY PERSON INIRELAND.connect 2012 | 32'