‘Ask for help’ urges Mid Ulster woman who hiked 30 miles for suicide charities

Nicole Devlin and Siobhan O'Neill, both centre, with the Hike4Hope crew
Nicole Devlin and Siobhan O'Neill, both centre, with the Hike4Hope crew

A Mid Ulster woman who joined a suicide awareness walk from Derry to Belfast is urging those who need it, to seek help in January.

One of the peak times of year for suicide deaths, Nicole Devlin said there is plenty of help available from organisations like Citizen’s Advice and the Samaritans as well as more traditional medical routes.

After speaking at Mid Ulster’s Walk of Hope about her own experiences with suicide and depression, Nicole joined up with the Hike4HopeNI in Toome, and walked for two days to raise money for the charity Cycle for Suicide.

The aim of the hike was to spread the message “it’s ok not to feel ok”, whilst highlighting the link between poverty and death by suicide.

Organiser, Siobhan O’Neill, who completed all 70 plus miles, said the hike has so far raised £4,343 - but that the amount is likely to grow.

The money, she said, will be divided between Cycle for Suicide and the Samaritans.

Derry Professors  Siobhan O'Neill and Paddy Gray from the Magee Campus of the University of Ulster pictured outside the Guildhall yesterday before they to set off on a 75 miles five day trek from Derry to Belfast in aid of four local charities ' Simon, Shelter NI, Samaritans and Cycle Against Suicide. DER5115GS007

Derry Professors Siobhan O'Neill and Paddy Gray from the Magee Campus of the University of Ulster pictured outside the Guildhall yesterday before they to set off on a 75 miles five day trek from Derry to Belfast in aid of four local charities ' Simon, Shelter NI, Samaritans and Cycle Against Suicide. DER5115GS007

A professor of Mental Health Sciences at University of Ulster, Magee, Siobhan added: “I study deaths by suicide based on an analysis of coroner’s data for six years, where we looked at the life events prior to death. Things like financial difficulties and relationship breakdown.

“Christmas is a difficult time of year for people, and coming into the new year... it’s definitely very relevant to be talking about this now.”