A SPECIAL remembrance service took place in Cork city last night to mark World Suicide Prevention Day and to highlight the "gaps" in mental health services.
In honour of World Suicide Prevention Day, the unique service was held in Cork’s city centre to raise awareness about suicide and to remember all of those who have passed.
Cork Penny Dinners along with Cork City Missing Persons Search and Recovery, Samaritans, Shine a Light, Circle of Hope, Cork Sexual Violence Centre, sporting groups and others came together to mark the day.
Caitriona Twomey of Cork Penny Dinners said their aim was to raise awareness about suicide and the “gaps” in mental health services with the event that is part of their Bridges of Hope initiative.
“Suicide is huge, it’s a very, very big thing now at the minute and so many people are being lost through suicide and its mental health, so what we’re appealing to all politicians is to fill all the gaps in all of those services,” she said.
“Fill them immediately. And save lives because that’s what it’s about now. It’s a crisis.”
There was a 60-second silence along with songs from the High Hopes Choir, lights and hundreds of candles which were lit for the occasion and in memory of those who have been lost to suicide this year.
Teddy bears, 'Hope' and 'Faith' also made the journey down the River Lee with volunteers from Cork City Missing Persons Search and Recovery.
On Friday night, the teddy bears made the journey through the south channel outside City Hall which was illuminated in orange for World Suicide Prevention Day.
“Our bears are called Hope and Faith for a reason. If we don’t have hope, we can’t continue and if we don’t have the faith and belief in ourselves and in others around that can help us, we won’t continue either,” said Ms Twomey.
"They are very, very important words and the bears are very important to us.” Ms Twomey said she hopes the event could bring some comfort to families impacted by suicide and to let people know that they are not alone.
“Our message to anybody out there is: You are not alone.
"We have lots of services that will help and can help.”