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  • Southside

First Dip in the Sea for Cycle Against Suicide

Monday, 7th January, 2019 6:00pm
First Dip in the Sea for Cycle Against Suicide

Former Irish International Shane Byrne leads the New Year’s Day Dip.

First Dip in the Sea for Cycle Against Suicide

Former Irish International Shane Byrne leads the New Year’s Day Dip.

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DOZENS of brave swimmers took part in the first Dip in the Sea for Irish mental health charity, Cycle Against Suicide, to encourage people to prioritise their mental health in 2019.

Spurred on by former Irish International rugby player, Shane Byrne, men and women of all ages braved the icy cold waters at Sandycove Harbour to welcome in the New Year with renewed energy, vitality and a positive mental mindset. 

With over 800 people dying by suicide each year, mental health problems are an escalating issue in Ireland. This country ranks joint third out of 36 countries in Europe for the highest rates of mental health illness.

A recent report by Health at a Glance noted that 18.5 per cent of the Irish population was recorded as having a mental health disorder. 

Ahead of its main cycle in 2019, Cycle Against Suicide hopes to focus people’s minds from the start of the year on the importance of prioritising mental health.

“The inaugural Dip in the Sea initiative was created to symbolise and encourage washing away the stresses of the past year and entering the New Year with hope and optimism. 

“For many of us, the New Year represents new opportunities, hopes and ambitions, but for those struggling with their mental health, it can be difficult to see past the darkness,” Shane explained. 

“I wanted to support this Cycle Against Suicide initiative to reinforce the charity’s central message that ‘It’s OK not to feel OK, and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help’.”

Caroline Lafferty, CEO of Cycle Against Suicide added: “From day one of 2019 our goal is to reach those who are currently suffering with mental illness and to remove the stigma that surrounds mental health issues.

“To see Dip in the Sea so well supported was incredible and marks a year-long programme of awareness and education activities.

Therse include our main cycle at the end of April and the full role out of Headstong - a schools’ programme that has been developed to address stigma and builds resilience in our young people. 

“Together, we can bring mental health issues out into the open and educate all of our communities.

“Our goal is to help people understand that mental illness is an illness like any other illness. Help is available and by raising awareness, we can enable people to reach out and seek help.” 

The route details of Cycle Against Suicide’s main 780km cycle have just been released. Commencing on April 27, thousands of cyclists will take part in the cycle that commences at Lucan, before journeying through counties Offaly, Tipperary, Limerick, Kerry, Cork, Kilkenny, Kildare and Dublin. 

To find more information about where you can get help for mental health issues, you can visit the website wwwcycleagainstsuicide.com/ask-for-help-2/

Steve Purcell from Dun Laoghaire with his kids who took a dip into the sea for Cycle Against Suicide.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here