‘SIGNS of Suicide’ campaign launched by Pieta

Singer songwriter Aaron J Hart and Sam Donnelly, owner of Sam's Barbers, pictured at the launch of Pieta's 'SIGNS of Suicide' campaign. Pieta is urging everyone to be aware of the 'SIGNS of Suicide', because knowing the warning signs could save a life. If you or someone you know is struggling, contact Pieta's helpline on 1800 247 2474, text HELP to 51444 or visit www.pieta.ie for more information. (Photo: INPHO/James Crombie)

Many young men have great relationships with their barbers and consider this a safe space to open-up and talk freely. Pieta – Ireland’s national suicide prevention charity – has, therefore, this week, partnered with Sam’s Barbers to help reach young men in a space where are comfortable talking about issues in their own lives.

Launched earlier this week on Blue Monday, Pieta’s ‘SIGNS of suicide’ campaign is encouraging people to ‘swap the small talk for the big talk’, with over half of Pieta’s clients are under 25 years old.

‘Signs of Suicide’ is a public awareness resource created to help family or friends support someone who may be at risk of self-harm or suicide. Pieta is urging everyone to be aware of the ‘Signs of Suicide’, so that you can help a loved one feeling blocked in by their own consuming thoughts and look towards feelings of hope.

Pieta therapists found that most people who talk about suicide do not want to die, they simply want to stop the pain they feel. Knowing some of the signs to listen and watch out for is the first step in helping someone.

‘SIGNS’ to look out for include: Sleep disturbance; Isolation; Giving way possessions; No interest in anything; Speaking of no future.


Singer/song writer, Aaron J Hart, who is supporting ‘Know the Signs of Suicide’ initiative said; “Anyone who knows my music will know that I’ve been through my own struggles, I know how difficult it is and how taking that first step is the hardest.

“It can be very difficult to speak to your family or friends about your struggles, but that’s exactly what we need to do, we need to talk more and be open about our feelings and the hard times.

“Nobody can read minds, but Pieta’s SIGNS of Suicide really does help you to identify whether your friends may be struggling. If you suspect they are struggling reach out, make the first move – you never know, you could save a life.”


If someone opens up to you, don’t be afraid to ask them directly if they are thinking of suicide or want to kill themselves. Talking to them openly and honestly is one of the best things you can do. Even just listening is one of the most powerful tools available.

Once you have asked the question, calmly and gently persuade them to seek help or to allow you to assist them in getting help. If you cannot persuade them, remember that Pieta’s 24/7 Crisis Helpline is open 24 hours day. As soon as you can, refer or guide them to Pieta – if you can, make the call with them or travel with them to the appointment.

Speaking about the ‘Know the Signs of Suicide’ campaign, Leigh Kenny, Regional Manager and Therapist with Pieta, said; “January can be a particularly difficult time of the year for people struggling with their mental health but these struggles aren’t limited to a month or day of the year.

“However, it is a great opportunity to highlight that it’s ok not to feel ok sometimes and the best thing you can do is talk about your feelings, whether that be with your family, friends or even your barber.

“We encourage everyone to ‘swap the small talk for the big talk’ and watch out for the SIGNS in your loved ones – knowing the SIGNS of suicide could save a life. If you think someone you know is struggling then follow the three simple steps of A.P.R – Ask, Persuade and Refer. At Pieta we have trained professionals waiting to help.”

Pieta’s professional counsellors specialise in suicide prevention and tackling self-harm. The charity has centres all over Ireland and Pieta’s Freephone Crisis Helpline is open 24/7. All services are provided free of charge and no referral is needed. 

For more information and help visit www.pieta.ie