Tipperary GAA links with Pieta House on suicide prevention

Pieta House, Centre for Prevention of Suicide or Self-harm, will shortly start up their ‘Mind ur Buddy’ training programme in conjunction with Tipperary GAA County Board.

Pieta House, Centre for Prevention of Suicide or Self-harm, will shortly start up their ‘Mind ur Buddy’ training programme in conjunction with Tipperary GAA County Board.

The aim of the training programme is to run a training course for up to 3-4 people from each club. At the training the participants are educated on the most common signs, symptoms and triggers of suicide. They are also, and most importantly, taught how to manage the conversation they may have with a person in distress should the need ever arise.

They are holding two information meetings for clubs to get further information on what will be involved, and also for a Q&A, on November 20 and 21, the first in the McAuley centre in Templemore at 7.15pm.

Pieta House explain - “The Mind Ur Buddy training programme is a subsection of our overall “Mind Our Men” campaign. It is a programme designed to educate and equip people to spot the signs when someone is in suicidal crisis. We train designated people from within an organisation to be the link between a person in distress and Pieta House.

Through research, we realised that people who were feeling vulnerable or who had suicidal ideation would be showing outward signs of their distress. Who would notice this more than a team-mate, family member or friend? Instead of encouraging the distressed person to look for help, we felt that the help should be sought by the friend or family member on their behalf. We also believed that a peer was more likely to not only spot the changes in behaviour of another peer, but would also more than likely be told the truth if they enquired about their friends’ distress. This is where the idea of Mind Ur Buddy came from.

Mind Ur Buddy

We will create a direct pathway between members of GAA Clubs and communities to Pieta House.

Each club would identify up to 4 members deemed suitable for this programme who would match the following criteria - Peer Level preferably; A natural go-to person; Non-judgemental and discreet; Compassionate and Caring; Willing to make a difference

Once suitable people are identified, Pieta House will train them ‘The Pieta Way’©. This will enable them to identify the most common signs, symptoms and triggers of suicide, and also give them the tools and confidence to engage with someone in distress to be a ‘short term helper’.

Once trained, they are then referred to as Buddy Support People (BSP). We also provide them with posters to make themselves clearly identifiable within their clubs.

We provide each club with educational material such as posters and material to be shared on social media platforms. This includes videos, tweets and Facebook posts.

This will be shared through the BSP.

Each region will have a dedicated telephone line and therapist who will understand the culture of the organisation

The BSP will be a direct link between a person in distress and Pieta House should the need ever arise

It is important to stress, we are not training people to be therapists, we are training them to be a short term helper in the time it takes to get someone into the Pieta.