St. John of God Hospital Staff in "Cycle Against Suicide

Saint John of God Hospital has announced its involvement as an official Mental Health Partner of  Cycle Against Suicide, a  National Suicide Awareness initiative taking place around Ireland from Monday 22nd April to Sunday 5thMay 2013.

 The campaign which was developed by successful entrepreneur and international businessman Jim Breen, aims to raise awareness for the considerable help and supports that are out there for anyone battling depression, at risk of suicide, or coping with the loss of a loved one due to suicide. Jim came up with the initiative following the screening of a TV documentary ‘The Secret Millionaire’ which showed Jim visiting a suicide awareness group. 

 The 1,400km awareness cycle will take its route all around the country will see local personalities, as well as suicide prevention and bereavement support experts visiting 26 schools along the way, educating young children to help ‘Break the Cycle’, including Loretto Bray, and Dominican College, Sion Hill, Blackrock.

 Donal Scanlan, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Health Promotion at Saint John of God Hospital explains the importance of the Hospital being involved in the project. “Saint John of God Hospital as one of Ireland’s leading mental health providers, was keen to get involved as soon as we heard about this project. This is a fantastic initiative that we hope will get people talking and break down the stigma attached to suicide and mental health issues. At Saint John of God Hospital, we are committed to raising awareness of mental health issues and encouraging people to talk about their mental health, just as they would their physical health. We think this is a fantastic way of getting the nation talking and are delighted to be a Mental Health Partner.”

 The nature of the campaign is of particular interest to Donal, who will be participating in the cycle, along with colleagues from the Hospital. “One of the ways we look at managing depression at Saint John of God Hospital is through exercise. We have a fantastic programme which encourages patients to recognise the link between mental health and exercise.  At the Hospital we have a fully equipped gym, 29 acres of land and a team of Occupational Therapists who use exercise as one method of combating depression. Not only does the activity of exercise have a direct positive effect on a person’s mental health, we find that the social aspect of exercise; whether it’s a session in our gym, or activities outside such as gardening or running also has a great effect, with patients engaging with one another in a way that they might otherwise not; so the fact that this campaign uses exercise to spread the message is of particular importance to us.”

 Founder and CEO of PulseLearning, Jim Breen sees the cycle as the first joint step in the fight against suicide. “Everyone has some connection to suicide or depression, and we believe the best way to help fight the battle is to do so together. Mental illness is like any other health issue, it is something we all have to be mindful of, and sometimes ‘minding’ it will involve asking for help.  We want to get people talking about the subject, and play our part in breaking the cycle of suicide and in doing so, decreasing the incidence of suicide in Ireland.

 We would like to thank Saint John of God Hospital for joining the Cycle Against Suicide as a Mental Health Partner and for help raising awareness of this important issue.”

  Participants can take part in a section of each 100km leg, an entire leg, multiple legs, or even complete the entire cycle. To learn more, get involved or sign up .

St. John of God Hospital Website



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St John of God Brothers
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