Oisín Scollard, co-founder of Turn2Me, has spoken about the importance of talking about mental health ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day, on Saturday the 10th of September. Oisín lost his brother, Cormac, to suicide in 2003. In 2009, Oísin and his other brother, Diarmuid, set up Turn2Me, a national mental health charity that offers free, professional, mental health services 365 days a year. Oisín stated that early intervention is the best preventative measure, and that every life lost through suicide shatters so many other lives.
“Suicide is an outcome that no-one can change, talking about it and encouraging change, is.” Oisín said, “It’s a permanent decision to what are often temporary problems. Every life lost to suicide shatters so many other lives. Families, friends, and colleagues can often blame themselves, or wonder why they didn’t spot the signs, or if they could have done more. I would encourage anyone who is feeling anxious or depressed to talk to someone they trust. If you don’t think you can confide in anyone you know, Turn2Me offers free, professional mental health services which run 365 days a year.”
Oisín said that Turn2Me has gone from strength to strength since it was founded in 2009. It is supported by the HSE’s National Office for Suicide Prevention and runs free one-to-one counselling sessions; free support groups on anxiety, depression, grief, and relationship issues; and a free ‘Thought Catcher’ mood diary which runs every day from 2pm until 8pm – all available on the Turn2Me website, Turn2Me.ie. He said one of his proudest achievements is that there are no waiting lists for the support groups or to use the ‘Thought Catcher’ service, and many people find these services a great support on their own or between counselling sessions.
Oisín reflected on his brother, Cormac, who died by suicide, and said in many ways, the respect and love he had for his brother is built into every page of the Turn2Me website.
“When we founded Turn2Me, we were trying to help people like Cormac, who needed a safe online space where he could talk about the problems he was having,” Oisín said, “Our services are moderated, safe and run by mental health professionals who help foster an environment where people are supportive and kind to one another. I think Cormac would be proud of the work that’s being done at Turn2Me. It’s a great example of the positive things that can come from technology.”
Since the charity was founded, it has helped over 110,000 people in Ireland. Oisín is encouraging anyone who is feeling isolated, bullied, anxious or depressed to sign up to the free mental health services available 365 days a year on Turn2Me.ie
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