The Tragedy of Suicide ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 39

Yesterday, I was shocked to read of the suicide of 22-year old, Mikey Clancy, who was a world class windsurfer from Dublin.  I know Mikey’s father, Michael Clancy,  from years back  as our paths first met when were both visiting  my father-in-law to be when he was undergoing chemotherapy in a Dublin hospital.  I was truly impressed with Michael Clancy from the moment I met him and saw a level of kindness and social conscience that is rare.

My heart goes out to Michael and his family on the death of their beloved Mikey and I want to lend my voice to his altruistic call, at this time of terrible grief, for all of us to do everything we possibly can to to  reverse the high rates of suicide that pervade our society;

Crucially, Mikey Clancy’s case points to the importance of ‘assuming nothing’ about people. The words ‘Assume Nothing’ were  the motto that hung on a rough piece of wood  in the surgery of arguably the most empathetic and insightful doctor I have ever met.

Let us all join with Mikey Clancy’s family in being more open about mental health issues and suicide, in particular. Let lives be saved in a tribute to this wonderful young man and his loving family.

Here is the  fine article, by Eamonn Sweeney,  that was printed about Mikey in the Sunday Independent yesterday. I think we can all  learn  from it.

http://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/windsurfing-lets-talk-about-saving-lives-3358030.html )

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

3 thoughts on “The Tragedy of Suicide ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 39”

  1. Thank you for sharing this – suicide has been a growing problem in Ireland as well as globally for at least the past decade. I think we need to look not only at mental health services but really at the whole society and cultural values we are trying to live with, perhaps challenging and changing some of them so that young people grow up with some sense of hope for the future and a deep and meaningful relationship with life. Dealing with self-esteem issues early on as well is important but, sadly, this is one of the problems in young adulthood – admitting and verbalising feelings of anxiety and depression can be very difficult and we can all be very good at hiding them, even from ourselves. I wonder if resident counsellors in all schools and workplaces might make a difference? Well, my deepest sympathies to the Clancy family and thank you once again for sharing this sad but crucial story.

    1. Roberta, I appreciate your comment very much and it is such a sad, sad time for the Clancy family.

      You make such valid points about the complexities associated with feelings of depression at both societal and personal level. The matter of even hiding feelings of depression and anxiety from ourselves seems to me to be very important. Maybe there are times when others could see this better than we could and be of considerable benefit and support, as Eamonn Sweeney suggests in the article, especially around team mates talking to each other.

      1. Oh yes absolutely, that is a definite way forward – a big cultural leap though, I think. How many men do you know who would spontaneously say to another guy ‘ you don’t seem yourself, is there anything bothering you?’ And most tend to respond that they’re fine. It’s something that needs to be taught maybe? Starting in schools perhaps? Again, so sorry this family have to go through this awful experience, hopefully they will find some measure of comfort in each other and in the support of other families who have had the same experience. Thanks again for your kind and insightful post and please wish the family sympathy and strength.

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