By Rose Barrett
Speaking about mental health issues and advocating for better services and supports is a must for Clodagh Cahill from Ranelagh.
Not only has she experienced the loss of her beloved mother, Orla, through suicide but she herself has experienced depression and suicide tendencies.
“Mum passed away in August 2017 by suicide, following years of her life trapped in a cycle of addiction and mental health issues,” said Clodagh.
“There were four daughters who grieved for her passing, ranging in age from age 18-30 years.”
Clodagh, who works as a business development manager, is currently an ambassador for Community Crisis Response team. Since her mum’s passing, Clodagh has done her utmost to encourage the positive discussion around mental illness and to open up the conversation to anyone who may need it, from within her close circle and far beyond.
“I’ve spoken and shared my story in colleges, schools and online, with youth groups, etc.
“I too have struggled with mental health over a 10 – 11 year period and experienced suicide tendencies. I know the pain and the harrowing grip mental health had on my life.
“I know how it feels to be in that situation and to have lost someone I loved to suicide,” said Clodagh.
In memory of her mother, and the help she received after her mum’s sad passing, Clodagh has set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for Pieta House.
“The same night my mam died, one of my close friends took his life. He was 30 years old and Mum was 50 – you’d have thought they both had years of a good life ahead of them.
“They came from very different backgrounds but were dealing with very similar issues. Depression does not discriminate across the social divides, nor between age, gender and life experience.
“Pieta house offers 40hrs free counselling to those bereaved by suicide, a service that helped me personally following my mother’s death.
“Depression is a cruel, torturous thing to endure so I’m appealing to the wider community of Dublin county and city to donate as little or as much as you can. Every euro will be appreciated.”
Leap of Faith
Brave Clodagh will literally be taking a leap of faith onJuly 25 when she will do a skydive!
“I will be taking the jump with the Irish Parachute Club in Clonbullogue on the North Kildare/Offaly border (weather permitting) on July 25. See www.gofundme.com/f/77aczp-skydive-for-pieta-house-in-memory-of-orla-cahill to support.
“To anyone who is currently struggling with their mental well-being, remember, better days will come. “I know that and there is support out there – you just need to reach out,” she concluded.
Pieta House provide a professional one-to-one therapeutic service to people who are in suicidal distress, those who engage in self-harm, and those bereaved by suicide. Since 2006, the organisation has helped over 48,000 people in suicidal distress or engaging in self-harm, and established 15 centres across Ireland.