‘I want them to know they are not alone – there is help’

By Aideen O'Flaherty

THE BROTHER of a young woman who died by suicide last April has set up a new mental health support group called HOME, which stands for Helping Others More Everyday, and is putting plans in place for a large mental health awareness event in Ballyfermot in September to let people in the community know that there is support for them.

Warren Dempsey (30) was moved to tackle the issues with mental health in Ballyfermot, which has seen a number of young women in the area take their own lives in recent months, after he lost his sister Andrea (22) to suicide earlier this year.

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Warren Dempsey (right) with his brother Roy

Since then, Warren has become aware of several other young women in the area who have died by suicide, and he’s determined to create more avenues of help and assistance for people in the area who are struggling with their mental health.

At present, Warren has been instrumental in setting up a support group every Thursday in the Ballyfermot Civic Centre at 8pm, where there are trained people who can help if someone has a mental health crisis or needs a listening ear. He is also developing a programme called My Pal.

Explaining the idea behind My Pal, Warren told The Echo: “Andrea would always say, ‘Hey friend, and I’d say, ‘Hey, pal’.

“We’re setting it up for people who are looking for a friend, or people who want to be a friend, and we want to take away the stigma around mental health.”

Through My Pal, people can sign up to be a friend to support someone who’s struggling with their mental health or who simply needs someone to talk to. Twenty-two people have already volunteered to be friends and have been trained in the HSE SAFEtalk suicide prevention methods.

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Warren's late sister Andrea

My Pal will launch in September, to coincide with the event that Warren is currently organising, which will take place in Le Fanu Park, where there will be 50 acts performing, including dance troupes that Andrea was involved in, as one of her passions was dancing.

Members of the emergency services will be taking part in the event, and there will be supports for people who might need assistance, including psychotherapists and a separate area at the event where there will be an advice centre and trained staff.

When asked what Andrea would think about what he’s doing, Warren said: “I’d say she’s beaming with pride.

“Andrea was such a large personality. She travelled the world dancing and she represented Ireland – everyone knew her to be a popular young girl.”

Warren said HOME has already done interventions, saving lives in the process, and that he wants people to realise that there is help for them.

When asked what he’d say to someone who might want to attend the HOME support group in the Civic Centre but is unsure of it, Warren said: “I want them to know that they’re not alone, and there is help out there.

“Come and speak with us and let us help. It’s okay to not be okay.”

The HOME support group meets in the Ballyfermot Civic Centre every Thursday at 8pm, and it’s open to anyone who needs support, while the mental health awareness event, called People’s Day, will take place in The Lawns in Le Fanu Park on September 8.

For anyone affected by issues raised in this article, help is available at Samaritans 116 123 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Aware 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety); Pieta House 1800 247 247 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (suicide, self-harm); Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19) and Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s).

A list of HSE and HSE-funded services can be found at HSE Mental Health

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