Mental Health & Suicide Awareness

In partnership with the HSE Health Promotion & Improvement, OLDC supports and manages the delivery of Mental Health Promotion initiatives for the Midlands region, covering Offaly, Laois, Longford and Westmeath. This initiative supports the delivery of services pursuant to ‘Connecting for Life’; the national strategy for action on suicide prevention 2015-2020. 

Mental Health Promotion initiatives integrate the provision of literature, resources and workshops to community groups, educational groups, sporting bodies and organisations which cover the following subjects:

•    Mental Health and Well-Being
•    Stress and Stress Management
•    Youth Mental Health
•    Suicide Awareness Training

 The promotion of the #Littlethings Campaign is a key element of this work and we provide promotional literature and workshops underpinning the key messages of this campaign to community-based groups and workplaces across the Midlands. 

Traveller Health
The initiative also delivers, in partnership with Traveller representatives and Traveller Primary Healthcare Programmes, culturally appropriate responses to the mental health needs of Travellers as identified in the All Ireland Traveller Health Status Study. It specifically supports Traveller Health Projects with the development mental health promotion and suicide awareness initiatives.

Workplace Health Promotion
OLDC was the first Partnership Company to pilot this new HSE Health Promotion & Improvement led initiative, offering companies the opportunity to develop health promotion practices within the workplace in partnership with all employees. This new direction in workplace health promotion uses the ‘settings model’ to health promotion and has proven very successful. On behalf of the HSE Health Promotion & Improvement, our Health Promotion Officer has responsibility for supporting this work and is seeking expressions of interest from public, voluntary and/or private sector employers from across the Midlands region. 

Healthy Offaly
In Offaly, ‘Healthy Offaly’ is an initiative that uses community development practices as a way of getting people more involved in health and wellbeing and as a means for involving individuals in their community and in community activity. Working with the communities, we get them to identify what are the key aspects that would “build” a healthy community e.g. physical environment, youth, work with isolation, access to services etc, and then see what initiatives or projects that the steering group partners with the community can put in place to help them achieve a healthier community. Based on work to date in Offaly, we have gone for three specific themes or areas of work that we feel are important to Offaly as a whole County and to the communities specifically: 

1.       Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing;
2.       Building community resilience – includes all community activity aimed at making their locality a better place to live, work or play
3.       Parenting and Triple P

Our Health Promotion Officer plays a key role in the steering and delivery of actions relevant to Mental Health and Wellbeing. 

Internationally Accredited Training Available
Mental Health First Aid Ireland
Mental health first aid is the help offered to a person who is developing a mental health problem or who is experiencing a mental health crisis, until appropriate professional treatment is received or until the crisis resolves. It follows the model that has been successful with conventional first aid. Mental Health First Aid is internationally recognised in over 23 countries and over 1 million people worldwide have been trained in Mental Health First Aid skills. Mental Health First Aid Ireland teaches participants the signs and symptoms of mental health problems and what sort of help has been shown by research to be effective. They will learn a framework for communication, how to offer and provide initial help, and how to guide a person towards appropriate treatments and other supportive help.

Evidence Base
A key strength of this programme is the strong evidence base. Mental Health First Aid is included in the American National Registry of Evidence-Based Programmes and Practices.  This training has been shown to improve attitudes towards people with mental health difficulties, reduce stigma, improve knowledge, and improve people’s confidence in providing help and likelihood to advise people to seek professional help. It has also been shown to improve participants own mental health.
For more information, please visit

SafeTALK Programme
This ‘SafeTALK’ programme will teach you to be ‘suicide alert’. The training will prepare participants to be in a position to identify and recognise individuals who may be having thoughts of suicide and to learn how to provide practical help and support by connecting them to the appropriate resources and services by using the steps of TALK (Tell, Ask, Listen and KeepSafe). This training is suitable for everyone who wants to help prevent suicide and is prepared to become a ‘suicide alert’ helper, i.e. front line workers, clergy, volunteers, parents, teachers, sports coaches and citizens.

Health Promotion Info Page

This resource page offers a range of short video clips and literature to support Positive Mental Health among our community.  New material will be uploaded periodically, so add us to your ‘Favourites’ bar and enjoy. Click here: link

For further information on any of this work, please contact:

Anthony O'Prey
Health Promotion Officer
Offaly Local Development Company
Millennium House
Main St
Co. Offaly
Tel: 087 1785 685