Navan singer/songwriter encourages men to speak out in new Pieta campaign

A Navan singer/songwriter fronting a new campaign for Pieta is encouraging men to speak out about their mental health.

With a new year upon us, Pieta - Ireland’s national suicide prevention charity - is using the opportunity to raise awareness for its bi-annual ‘SIGNS of Suicide’ campaign. The organisation’s Helpline team received 99,042 calls and texts last year and delivered over 51,000 therapy hours, highlighting that it is more important than ever that people are mindful of the ‘SIGNS of Suicide’ and know what to look out for in loved ones. Warning signs to watch out for include:

Sleep Disturbance


Giving Away Possessions

No Interest in Anything

Speaking of No Future

As part of this year’s campaign, Pieta has partnered with wellness influencer Nathalie Lennon and Singer Songwriter Aaron J Harte with both in attendance at the campaign launch.

Aaron J Harte, ‘SIGNS of Suicide’ ambassador, spoke out about his own experience of mental health, he said: “I am proud to be an ambassador for Pieta’s ‘SIGNS of Suicide’ campaign again this year. As anyone who follows me will know, I have endured my own mental health struggles. I know how hard it is for young men in particular to speak to family and friends about how they’re feeling but I also know firsthand what a difference it can make. For me, opening up marked the beginning of my road to recovery. It is so important to talk openly and honestly about our feelings and to let those who care about us know when we need a helping hand. Likewise, I encourage everyone to familiarise themselves with Pieta’s ‘SIGNS of Suicide’. That way, we can look out for family and friends who may be struggling and be there for them. Know the signs, save lives.”

Currently, 35% of Pieta’s clients are under the age of 18, while in Ireland, the overall suicide rate for males is three times higher than that of females according to CSO data. This indicates that men as less likely to reach out and ask for help.

Pieta is encouraging people to ‘swap the small talk for the big talk’ and open up to a family member, friend, or trusted confidante. Talking to loved ones about emotions is a difficult, but important, first step and can help alleviate distress before things spiral or escalate. It is essential that anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts seeks help from a trained professional.

Speaking about the ‘SIGNS of Suicide’ campaign, Stephanie Manahan, Pieta CEO, said: “While mental health struggles aren’t confined to any one period of the year, we do know that January can be especially difficult for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis or suicidal ideation. That is why Pieta is keen to spread the word about the SIGNS of Suicide and to reiterate the message that it’s okay to not be okay. We encourage people all over Ireland to ‘swap the small talk for the big talk’ and look out for the ‘SIGNS of Suicide’ in family members and friends. If someone you know is struggling, remember to follow the three simple steps of A.P.R - Ask, Persuade, Refer. Doing so could help save your loved one’s life.”

As part of the campaign, Pieta has an ongoing partnership with Sam’s Barbers. With many young people viewing the barbers as a safe space where they can be vulnerable and speak freely about their feelings. Pieta and Sam’s Barbers are continuing to remind young men of the importance of reaching out and talking to someone, particularly in times of crisis.

Remember: If someone opens up to you, don’t be afraid to Ask them directly if they are thinking of suicide or want to kill themselves. Talking to them openly and honestly is one of the best things you can do. Even just listening is one of the most powerful tools available. Once you have asked the question, calmly and gently Persuade them to seek help or to allow you to assist them in getting help. If you cannot persuade them, remember that Pieta’s 24/7 Crisis Helpline is open 24 hours a day. As soon as you can, Refer or guide them to Pieta – if you can, make the call with them or travel with them to the appointment.

Pieta’s qualified counsellors specialise in suicide prevention and tackling self-harm. The charity operates centres at 20 locations across Ireland as well as a Free 24/7 Crisis helpline. All services are provided free of charge and no referral is needed.

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