- In 2015, Wexford County had the highest suicide rate in Ireland.
- In 2016, Marine Watch Wexford volunteers recorded 40 incidents relating to self harm and people contemplating suicide on Wexford Bridge.
- In 2016, Good2Talk Wexford provided over 3000 counselling sessions and currently has a waiting list for people seeking counselling sessions.
- 1 in 3 of us will be affected by mental health issues at some point in our lives – either directly, or as a family member.
While these facts may relate to Co. Wexford, suicide and mental health issues affect every village, town and county.
Ask is a pioneering mental health campaign launched by the Mayor of Wexford, Cllr Frank Staples. The aim is to target not just those who are suffering, but also their families and friends, and to highlight how just one conversation could save a life.
Speaking to the Irish Independent about the aim behind the campaign Cllr Staples said:
‘Sometimes that conversation needs to be started by someone other than the person in trouble and that’s a big part of out campaign.’
The posters are designed to encourage those who may be struggling or feeling down to ask for help while at the same time encouraging those who may be concerned about someone to simply ask that person if they are feeling OK or would like to talk.
The story of Jonny Benjamin and Neil Laybourn shows how one conversation, at the right moment, saved a life. But it doesn’t always need to be as dramatic as talking someone down from a bridge. Just a few minutes of conversation at the kitchen table or in the canteen can have just as huge of an impact.