CEO of Pieta House, Brian Higgins, speaking at the launch in Letterkenny.
Since Pieta House North West opened its doors in Donegal back in May it has directly helped up to 123 people and helped stop the heartbreak of death by suicide impacting on up to 16,500 people, its official launch heard on Friday.
Speaking at the official opening of Pieta House North West in Letterkenny, Chief Executive of the charity, which is a free service to help those in suicidal distress and those who engage in self-harm, Brian Higgins said that while the service may have come “a couple of years late” to the region, due to the generous support of the public they have now positively impacted directly on the lives of 123 people across the north west who have engaged with the centre since it opened in May.
Mr Higgins stated: “Those 123 people are people that have made this worthwhile, and that is only to date. We know statistically that for every person who dies by suicide, 135 are negatively impacted by that death. If you do your maths, that is 16,500 people who have been spared the agony of a loss by suicide already in Donegal and the surrounding counties, so we owe a huge debt of gratitude to you.”
He told the guests at the launch event in the Radisson Hotel that it was a hugely important day for the charity and they held off on the official opening to see how the service was operating and he praised the work being done by all the staff at the centre in that time. The centre is located on the third floor of the Grand Central Building, Canal Road, Letterkenny.
He stated: “Today is a really important day for us because we are marking the fact we are open. We deliberately leave this until we have been open for a little while because we can then see the impact. One hundred and twenty three people have been through our doors already and it is a very significant number and it keeps us very busy. And that is because we are probably a couple of years late in opening in the north west, and that is the truth of it. But the truth of it is, it is not easy to open a Pieta House. Those 123 people are people that have made this worthwhile, and that is only to date.”