More than 80 people in Jobstown trained in SafeTalk

By Mary Dennehy

MORE than 80 people in Jobstown have undertaken HSE SafeTalk training in a community-led response to suicide prevention and wellbeing that is being rolled-out across Tallaght, and beyond.

Jobstown SafeTalk was established two years ago by residents Jeff O’Toole and Frank Stacey, with community support, in response to a number of suicides locally.

Jobstown House 01 compressorJeff O’Toole and Frank Stacey

SafeTalk is a free half-day suicide prevention programme that prepares participants to recognise and engage with people who may be having thoughts of suicide – and to connect them to suicide first-aid resources.

Delivered by the HSE, the programme trains participants to recognise invitations for help and how to take action, connecting people with resources, supports and services.

Speaking with The Echo, Frank Stacey, Head Coach with Westside Boxing Club, said that the free training was provided to the community, including coaches and those working with young adults, in the hope of ensuring that residents are never more than five minutes away from a listening ear.

“The community is safer and there has been interventions because of this training,” Frank said.

“This was something that needed to be done.

“The community built this from the ground up . . . and there are now 86 people trained in SafeTalk in Jobstown.”

The pro-active and grassroots approach that Jobstown has taken has been supported by the HSE, which is now working alongside Jobstown SafeTalk in rolling their community-led model out to the wider Tallaght area, and beyond.

In December (2019), the Jobstown SafeTalk team and the HSE delivered training in Killinarden, as part of plans to extend the training to communities all over Dublin.

A video on Jobstown SafeTalk and the impact the community-led response was also launched in Jobstown House. 

The video, made in partnership with the HSE, hopes to raise awareness of the training programme, encouraging other areas to avail of this free programme.

The SafeTalk programme is co-ordinated and funded by the National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP), which is part of the HSE’s mental health and community division.

When contacted by The Echo, a spokesperson for the HSE said: "Suicide prevention is everyone's business.

"Building suicide safer communities is a key part of our national suicide prevention strategy, Connecting for Life.

"We commend the Jobstown community for taking a proactive and comprehensive approach and were delighted to be able to support them with SafeTALK training.

"By having community gatekeepers they are helping to break down stigma and, we believe, save lives."

For further details visit the Jobstown SafeTalk Facebook page or www.hse.ie.

Support is also available at – Samaritans 116123; Pieta House on 1800 247 247 or www.pieta.ie; Teenline 1800 833 634; and the HOPE suicide prevention drop-in centre in Tallaght Village on 087 1363082.

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