Limerick Suicide Watch (LSW) will have a mobile support unit in time for the long winter nights.
The vehicle will provide a warm, safe place for volunteers to take people who may be in distress or contemplating suicide.
The vehicle is being fitted with seating, a table and tea-making facilities.
Spokesperson for LSW, Lucy O’Hara says they “needed to have something available for people so we could get them away from the water. [It’s] a safe space where they can sit down and have a chat, where they can wait for a family member or whoever they wish for us to call”.
The support unit will be available for volunteers to use by mid-November.
It was purchased by funds raised from community donations.
“Without the help of local businesses and the people of Limerick we would not be where we are today,” Lucy adds.
The vehicle also allows volunteers to visit communities county-wide who have been affected by suicide and to travel to schools and events to promote mental health awareness.
The next step for LSW is to secure a permanent base by the river.
Their current, temporary base is above Tait Business Centreon Lady’s Lane which is available to them at an affordable rate thanks to Shannon Properties.
LSW began patrolling the river in 2016 and now has nearly 75 volunteers, all of whom are over twenty-five, garda vetted and trained in suicide prevention.
Limerick City has the highest suicide rate on average in the country according to the most recent statistics provided by the National Suicide Research Foundation (based on the time period between 2014-2016).