BY Rose Barrett
Following on from the success of 2020’s inaugural Wolf Run Virtual Challenge, Lorraine Taylor is organising another event this year to raise vital funding for suicide prevention, intervention and mental health awareness.
Race Director Lorraine knows all about the pain and aftermath of suicide. She lost her brother Stephen to suicide in 2017 and the family has experienced the wide-reaching effect ever since.
“Stephen (43) lived in Ashbourne with his wife and daughter. He went to work one day and never came home,” said Lorraine.
“We had absolutely no indication of his intentions that day. The entire family were devastated, it was such a shock.
“The ripple effect from suicide is so far-reaching. The amount who came to pay their respects to Stephen, the whole community and communities we had previously lived and worked in, they were shocked. He was so popular and we had no idea he had succumbed to depression.
“GPs and mental health organisations all report an increase in patients presenting with anxiety, depression, self-harm and most worrying, suicidal ideation. Only last week, a leading Consultant in The Mater Hospital reported that the mental health care services are at ‘breaking point’ now as we find ourselves 18 months plus into the Covid pandemic.
Originally from Blanchardstown, Lorraine now lives in Clonsilla and felt she had to do something to remember Stephen and help two organisations which give vital supports to persons battling with depression, and families dealing with a suicide.
“It is so vitally important that we do all we can as a community to break the stigma around suicide and mental illness. There should be no shame about discussing mental health – at the end of the day, we all have mental health – some good and some bad – and looking after our mental health should be as normal as looking after our teeth.
“We need to make sure that people know that it is ok to say that I am not ok and to know they will be safely held while getting – or waiting – the support that is needed.”
The Wolf Run Challenge, said Lorraine, takes its name from the old Cherokee parable about the battle of the two wolves that live inside each of us – the wolves of Hope and Despair and the choice we have in life to determine which wolf wins.
“Recently, I read a quote which said: ‘A suicide is like a pebble in a pond. The waves ripple outwards’ – in the way a pond is changed by a falling pebble, an entire community can be changed by suicide.
“In recent months, my community was rocked by two tragic suicides – one a beautiful young girl of just 13 years, too young to know what the word suicide is, never mind how to carry it out. The second was a gentle mother and grandmother aged 84. The impact of Covid restrictions taking a detrimental and irreversible toll on her mental health. There is no sense to either of these deaths.”
The theme for 2021 year is: ‘Your Challenge, Your Way, Your Support’. The two organisations Lorraine is raising funds for are: Suicide or Survive (SOS) and Suicide Awareness Dublin 15 (SA D15).
SOS is an Irish mental health organisation and charity focused on breaking down the stigma associated with mental health issues and ensuring that those affected have access to quality recovery services that are right for the individual
Suicide Awareness D15 is a local voluntary group supporting those bereaved through suicide or those who are experiencing suicidal ideation or have previously experienced it. SA D15 provide a community response to suicide through prevention, intervention and postvention.
Lorraine previously fundraised for SOS, and organised a fully funded one day mental health workshop
“That was hosted at Luttrelstown Community Centre in October 2019, and we had 40 participants on the day.”
Lorraine extended thanks to all who completed the Wolf Run last year, from those who walked or jogged, or climbed the Stairway to Heaven and some who even took on Croagh Patrick!
Every participant will receive a medal; you can complete your challenge in any location between your booking date and Friday, 10 September 2021 (World Suicide Prevention Day). You can walk, run, treadmill, cycle, swim or any other form of exercise and record your preferred distance 2k/5k/10k, etc.
When you have completed your Wolf Run, you can submit your results to https://www.popupraces.ie/virtual-run-results/ or email your screenshot and your order confirmation number to [email protected] or via the FB page.
For sponsorship cards, email [email protected]. Free entry to anyone who raises €60 or more, or for a couple or family, if €100 or more is raised.
You can donate to www.idonate.ie/TeamWolf2021 or during the online registration process.
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