Community ‘rocked’ by sudden deaths - supports put in place for community

Community ‘rocked’ by sudden deaths

The tragic deaths of a number of young people in a close-knit Cavan community have prompted authorities to put in place dedicated supports for people living in the Tullacmongan area of Cavan Town.

An interagency response involving HSE suicide prevention officers, psychologists, An Garda Síochána, Tusla, Pieta House, and others is being co-ordinated to help those affected by the deaths, or others in the community struggling with depression, stress or mental health issues.

A psychologist was in place at the Tullacmongan Resource Centre and Teach Oscail Family Resource Centre at the weekend, following the latest tragedy.

A spokesperson for the HSE confirmed to theCeltthat work is underway to identify community needs and “provide support” in the wake of recent deaths, two of which occurred in the same family.

“This [response] is ongoing,” the spokesperson added.

TheCeltunderstands as many as half a dozen young people under the age of 30 years, either from or living directly in the area, have died in tragic circumstances in recent years.

Earlier this month local Fianna Fáil Councillor Patricia Walsh gave her support to an initiative, which saw a leaflet drop notifying people in the community of the various supports available to them.

The notice to parents stated: ‘Sadly our Cavan communities have recently experienced tragic, unexpected deaths that will impact you and your children in different ways. Some young people may be more affected than others and they will, most likely, access support from those closest to them.’

It went on to list that “normal feelings” during this time include “shock, disbelief and confusion”, adding the advice: ‘Young people might experience pain and sadness or anxiety, tension and despair and even hopelessness. It is important for you to encourage them to talk to you and for you to listen to their thoughts and feelings. Do your best to maintain some kind of routine at home and try to keep an eye on online activity.’

Most recently Christine Wynne, coordinator with SOSAD Cavan reported a doubling of calls to their helpline during the current Coronavirus pandemic.

Cllr Walsh has welcomed the dispatch of a coordinated interagency approach to suicide prevention in the local area.

“Everyone is in a state of shock at the moment. It’s tragic beyond belief.

“The community is just rocked. It’s so upsetting for everyone, our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who’ve died. It’s terrible, just devastating,” Cllr Walsh told theCelt.

She’s hoping further tragedy can be avoided by the community engaging with the services provided, and in turn the councillor hopes the service remains for as long as needed.

“We need our agencies to step up to the mark now, more than ever. This is a community, a small community, a tight-knit community made up of friends and families, who are now mourning together. Everyone is feeling this. And saying that, the community needs support, these services need to be provided, and available to all who need it, for however long.”

Help lines

There are 24/7 helpline supports people can access in a crisis/emergency situation via NEDOC or their local Emergency Department 999

Other resources include:

* SOSAD Cavan 049 432 6339

* Samaritans 24/7 free-phone number 116 123

* Local GP. The NEDOC out of hours GP service can be contacted on 1850 777 911 or 041-6850750 www.nedoc.ie

* Pieta House Suicide Bereavement Liaison Officer, Kathryn McAree who can be contacted Tel: 085 870 6591.

* Pieta House 24/7 helpline is 1800 247 247

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