Former Miss World Rosanna Davison and Cavan GAA Star Alan O’Mara joined Cycle Against Suicide founder Jim Breen this Friday, September 27th for the launch of the 2014 route.
The aim of the Cycle Against Suicide initiative is to spread the message that it’s ok not to feel ok and it’s more than ok to ask for help. It is also vitally important to promote and raise awareness of the considerable amount of help and support available within communities to people who are battling with mental health issues.”
The 2013 Cycle Against Suicide saw 2,500 participants cycle through 109 cities, towns and villages in the Republic of Ireland over two weeks. Along the way, the participants stopped into schools, universities and colleges, with speakers engaging with over 15,000 students throughout the 14 days.
This year’s Cycle Against Suicide takes place from Monday, April 28th to Sunday, May 11th. The 2014 routealso includes Northern Ireland on the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th of May, with stops planned in Derry, Maghera, Belfast, Portadown and Banbridge.
Cycle Against Suicide was founded by Jim Breen, following his experience on RTE’s The Secret Millionaire.Speaking at the launch in Ballsbridge, he said that “When someone takes their own life, they take with them the power for anyone to help them. Suicide touches every family in both Northern Ireland and The Republic. That was evidenced by the enthusiastic welcome offered to us by communities all along the route. The average number of people lost to suicide on the island of Ireland every year is over 800. Together, we are working to enter a new chapter in the battle against suicide and to break that cycle.”
Rosanna Davison said: “I am so proud to be part of this movement which promotes such a simple but crucial message. No one is immune from mental health issues and we have to let people know that it shows true strength to ask for help.”
Alan O’Mara, Cavan GAA player, has recently revealed his own battle with depression. “When I opened up about my own experience with mental health issues, I learned first-hand that it is in fact ok not to feel okay and that there is help out there once you ask for it.”
“Opening the vault that had become my head was crucial in lifting my depression. It’s vitally important to keep reinforcing this message to help prevent as many families as possible suffer the consequences of suicide and Cycle Against Suicide is an extremely powerful movement that helps to do that.”
Details on the route and how to register for this year’s Cycle Against Suicide are available onwww.cycleagainstsuicide.com. Cyclists of all abilities are welcomed and people can sign up for all or any stage of the cycle, which is once again expected to attract thousands of participants.