“The veil that surrounds mental health issues needs to be lifted. As I was preparing this press release the news broke of Robin Williams suicide. I had to stop writing. Over the past few days I have been reminded again and again that none of us are immune from the struggles in life. We are all affected.” - Emmett Corcoran
I am growing increasingly concerned that the Jigsaw counselling service no longer has full-time staff based in Roscommon. The Jigsaw service, which provides free counselling to young people aged fifteen to twenty-five, had two full-time staff members a few months ago, but since their departure, they had not been replaced.
The service had been an excellent development for Roscommon because it was a walk-in service and provided confidential counselling in a comfortable and youth orientated environment. Jigsaw has premises in the Roscommon Primary Care Centre on the Circular Road.
Young people I have been speaking to are worried that the service might close. A recent article in the Irish Examiner newspaper had described Roscommon as having one of the highest rates of psychiatric admissions for young people in the country. It is imperative that we reduce this figure by providing an easily accessible counselling service in Roscommon.
When I was younger I experienced times when my mode would drop for many reasons, often due to weight issues and stress of school. When I think back now I truly did bottle up those problems which only perpetuated them. Until now I suppose I never really spoke of them publicly. I always put on the brave face. I feel I would have benefited from a service such as Jigsaw.
The veil that surrounds mental health issues needs to be lifted. As I was preparing this press release the news broke of Robin Williams suicide. I had to stop writing. Over the past few days I have been reminded again and again that none of us are immune from the struggles in life. We are all affected. At some point in our lifetimes many of us will be affected by depression. The truth is life is not easy, but no-one ever claimed it would be.
Even as I write this I struggle to address the issue of depression and suicide directly. We have allowed a stigma to set-in but we must remove it. We do not have any problem addressing many of our physical health issues openly, and likewise we should have no problem addressing our mental health issues openly.
I am calling on HSE to address the situation which currently exists at Jigsaw in Roscommon town and ensure that the future of the facility is secured and funding is in place to staff the service. We need to do more as a society to shine a light into the darkness of depression and all mental health issues and work to restore hope to those who have lost it.
Links to counselling services and other important resources can be found at hse.ie. (http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/1/LHO/Roscommon/Mental_Health_Services/Mental_Health_Services_in_Roscommon_.html)
Emmett Corcoran | Independent Candidate | Roscommon-South Leitrim By-Election | 2014
"If you're willing to keep moving forward, eventually you will succeed."
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