About Us

Some background information on the Mayo Suicide Prevention Alliance

History of our development

Over the last number of years many voluntary, community and statutory groups have been involved in suicide prevention and mental health promotion initiatives in Mayo. They are working in suicide prevention at all levels, such as:

  • Mental health promotion
  • Suicide intervention (supporting people in a suicide crisis)
  • Suicide post-vention (bereavement support)

Three meetings, organised by the HSE, in partnership with the Family Centre Castlebar, were held in December 2009, March 2010 and February 2012, to outline some of the work going on in County. These gatherings were very well attended by representatives from a wide range of organisations and groups. The aim of these meetings was to explore how we could communicate, co-ordinate and improve our work in this area. Following on from the meeting in March 2010, the Mayo Suicide Prevention Alliance was set up to prioritise some of the identified actions.

Who we are

Each person on the Alliance was nominated so that we could broadly represent all the different agencies and community groups involved in mental health promotion and suicide prevention in Co. Mayo.

The Alliance is made up of the following people:

  • Thelma Birrane, Health Promotion Department, HSE West
  • Pippa Daniel, Project Coordinator, Mayo Traveller Support Group
  • Vivienne Fitzmaurice, Primary Health Care Coordinator, Mayo Travellers Support Group
  • Peadar Gardiner, Project Manager, Mindspace Mayo
  • Laurence Gaughan, Primary Care, HSE
  • Donal Hoban, Mayo Recovery College and Mental Health, HSE
  • PJ Murphy, Mayo Mental Health Association
  • Siobhan McBrearty, Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention, Mayo, HSE West (Chair)
  • Pat McHale, Community and Integrated Development, Mayo County Council
  • Joe McKenna, Superintendent Garda, Mayo
  • Maire Ni Dhomhnaill, Counsellor and Mayo Suicide Bereavement Liaison Service, Family Centre, Castlebar
  • Eugene McCormack, Mental Health Nursing, HSE
  • Seamus Ryan, Psychology Department, HSE
  • Breda Ruane, Youth Officer, Mayo/Sligo/Leitrim Education and Training Board
  • James Ryan, Representing Families bereaved by suicide
  • Marina Tuffy, Psychotherapist, Representing the LGBT Community

What is our mission and our aims?

Our agreed mission and aims are as follows:

To co-ordinate, develop and support good practice in the area of suicide prevention/mental health promotion in County Mayo

Strategic Aim 1

To continue to raise awareness of positive mental health and wellbeing, suicide prevention and support services in County Mayo.

Strategic Aim 2

To inform, develop and implement local, regional and national policy.

Strategic Aim 3

To improve communications systems at local, regional and national levels.

Strategic Aim 4

To establish an effective organisation and structure to support the work of Mayo Suicide Prevention Alliance.

How do we work?

Group Structure

Siobhan McBrearty is the Chair of our group. We meet approximately 6 times per year. All decision-making is by consensus by the Alliance as a whole.

Funding

Fundraising for our group must comply with the good practice guidelines outlined in Suicide Prevention in the Community: A Practical Guide (2011) and be in accordance with other standards set out of the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention.

Any funds given to our group will be held independently of the HSE, in an affiliated organisation with appropriate governance, accounting and financial procedures in place.

Detailed project plans will also always be developed for funded projects. These plans will be practical, informed by local and national knowledge and based on good practice.

Achievements to-date

Publicising initiatives and developments of relevance at local and national level through annual network meetings and newsletters. For more information, see:

In January 2013, we ran a well-being campaign, in partnership with the local media. We adapted a national HSE mental health promotion advertisement, which encourages us to listen to others and talk about our problems to those who can support us in our community. This ad ran on Mid-West Radio. We also put together a flier which sets out practical tips on keeping well in challenging times. It also lists some useful services that offer support. Our aim was to have this flier in every home in Co. Mayo. We distributed the flier through local newspapers, such as the Western People, Mayo News, Connaught Telegraph and Mayo Advertiser. For a copy of the Tips for Keeping Positive flier, click below:

With the support of Dr. Mark Garavan and his colleagues in the GMIT Castlebar, we evaluated the impact and learning from distributing the Tips for Keeping Positive Flier. They used focus groups to get feedback from a range of different groups in the County, including young people, older people, Travelling Community, and so on. For more information on this evaluation, click below:

We continue to update and distribute the Directory of Mayo Well-being and Mental Health Support Services. For further information, please click below:

In January 2015, we ran a half day seminar with the media on the responsible reporting of suicide and mental health issues. For more information on the Media Guidelines for Reporting Suicide, click below:

Please also see article written by Breda O’Brien, on the responsibility the media have in relation to those bereaved by suicide, click below:

We have now developed a three year strategy, setting out our plans for the coming years, based on our four key aims. For more information, click below:

MSPA Strategic Plan 2015-2018 (Microsoft Word)MSPA Strategic Plan 2015-2018 (PDF)

This is closely aligned with ‘Connecting for Life’, Ireland’s National Strategy to Reduce Suicide 2015-2020. For more information, click below:

Connecting for Life