A candlelit vigil was held for the third time in UCD outside the James Joyce library on November 8th. The event was run to remember those who had died, in particular by suicide.
Students’ Union Welfare Officer Rachel Breslin was pleased with the event, “I thought that it achieved its main objective. It was poignant, emotive and a tribute to people we have loved and lost, and in particular it gave us an opportunity to mark students who had died during the year”.
PleaseTalk Co-ordinator Vince McCarthy explained the idea behind the vigil, “The vigil appeared a few years [after PleaseTalk was founded] because they wanted a day of remembrance for people lost by suicide so to highlight attention again to suicide”.
“Suicide is obviously a huge issue for the whole country and population but it’s a massive issue, especially for young men aged between twenty and twenty-four. We want people to take the time to remember people they’ve lost and hopefully to come together around a service like PleaseTalk or around whatever service they think is important to them and promote the idea amongst themselves, amongst their friends, that it’s really important to take care of each other”.
Eighteen colleges across Ireland and Northern Ireland will be hosting a similar event over the next week. This is all in the lead up to the launch of the PleaseTalk campaign in Northern Ireland on the 28th of November, which is a significant step for the organisation according to McCarthy, “to get Northern Ireland involved is massive so hopefully we’ll be opening up a service which started in UCD and will hopefully impact the lives of 200,000 students in Northern Ireland as well, which is a huge achievement”.
A similar vigil was held in Cork on November 7th. This was the first time the event was held on the UCC campus as the PleaseTalk committee was only set up this year. A representative from UCC stated that “we’ve a lot more events planned with them … we’ll be launching seventy-nine Chinese lanterns which is representative of the number of youth suicides last year next week”.
A PleaseTalk event will be scheduled in UCD in March to mark PleaseTalk’s fifth anniversary. The organisation was originally launched in 2007 in UCD by UCD students and staff. PleaseTalk is currently on thirty-two campuses across the country.