Wednesday, 18th July 2012
Irish Countrywoman's Association joins forces with Suicide or Survive to tackle mental health issues in Ireland
The Irish Countrywoman's Association has announced plans to partner with Irish charity Suicide or Survive (SOS). The organisations will work together to raise awareness of mental health issues in Ireland and to educate all generations in matters related to mental health wellness.
Liz Wall, National President, ICA said: "As an organisation that is at the heart of Ireland's communities, the ICA aims to support the issues facing those communities. Mental health is an important issue that unfortunately, in today's society, still carries a high degree of stigma. We believe it is important to break down the stigma and we are delighted to work closely with SOS to make a difference to our society. We will be drawing on the full resources available to the ICA to achieve this goal".
Over the coming months the ICA and SOS will collaborate on plans to mark World Suicide Prevention Day which takes place across the globe on Monday 10th September, 2012. Activities include plans for a nationwide "High Tea & Talk" campaign which will see members of the ICA host afternoon tea events to raise awareness of the issues and to raise funds that will go directly towards suicide prevention and mental health education. In addition, there will be a flagship event at An Grianán for women of influence. Full details of all events will be announced in the coming weeks.
Caroline McGuigan, CEO, SOS said: "At SOS we are working to build a society where people embrace their mental health wellness and those with difficulties are treated with dignity and respect, and experience a service that offers them hope, a safe place and a positive future. I am delighted to be collaborating with the ICA, an organisation that is part of the fabric of our communities, and I'm excited for the plans we have to mark World Suicide Prevention Day. I believe that together we can make a huge difference and can break down the stigma associated with mental health that exists in Ireland today.".
The Irish Countrywomen's Association is a women's organisation with almost 11,000 members. In 2010 we celebrated our Centenary and a very long tradition of making a difference in women's lives. Fun, friendship and support are at the centre of everything that we do – but we also aim to make women's voices heard on the issues of the day.
ICA members meet in local groups across the country almost 700 Guilds each of which offers a varied programme of activity including trips and visits, crafts and art, interesting speakers, competitions and a whole lot more.
At An Grianan, Co Louth, the ICA Adult Education College provides members and the general public with a varied pro-gramme of courses and events, as well as facilities for meetings and Conferences.
A founding member of the National Women's Council of Ireland, the ICA is also the Irish representative on COFACE, the European NGO that represents families at the EU, and is a long standing member of the ACWW – the Associated Country-women of the World which works to improve the situation of rural women, particularly in the developing world.
Established in 2005, Suicide or Survive Ltd (SOS) provides services and supports aimed at suicide prevention in Ireland. The aims of the organisation are to raise awareness of mental health issues, highlight the need for SOS programmes and for more open dialogue on suicide and its prevention, roll out the Eden therapeutic programme to fill gaps in current service provision for people at high risk of suicide, provide educational services that help people understand their own mental health and find support if they need it and increase and improve resources required for the long-term sustainability and growth of SOS.
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