A group of Newry & Mourne families devastated by the loss of loved ones to suicide have met with President Mary McAleese to share their stories and ask for her support in their campaign for better suicide awareness across the country.
On Sept 9th the eve of World Suicide Prevention Day, the President welcomed 40 bereaved families to Áras an Uachtaráin.
Ten families attended the event, organised by PIPS Newry & Mourne, PIPS Programmes and Tralee suicide awareness group the Open Arms Project.
President McAleese listened to the stories and showed genuine empathy with everyone .
"She took her time with every single person and she was very knowledgeable about suicide. Everyone had their own stories to tell to the President and she listened to them all.
The day also provided a great opportunity to meet with other people from across Ireland who had been through the same experiences
President McAleese praised the work of PIPS Newry & Mourne . "PIPS Newry & Mourne has been an invaluable support structure for many years to those who have been bereaved by suicide. Your insistent voice urges all groups in society to work together to reduce the incidence of this awful scourge which has blighted so many lives and to promote a culture of positive mental health.
"We are grateful to each one of you for the care, compassion and determination which drive you to address this awful waste of human life," said President McAleese.