Cycle Against Suicide Student Leader Congress 2017 
by Dylan McLoughlin Transition Year
On the 19th of January 2017, a few classmates and I who took part in the cycling module at the start of the year attended the Cycle Against Suicide congress launch in the University of Limerick. Cycle Against Suicide is an event that takes place annually where you sign up to cycle around various locations in Ireland to raise awareness to prevent suicide in the country. There slogan gives out a valuable message, “it’s OK not to feel OK, and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help”. This message and the event is associated with the colour orange. By wearing that colour at the cycle you are sending positivity out and raising awareness about Suicide.
The event was held in the UL sports arena which had an amazing setup. A huge screen was positioned above the stage which broadcast the show to students at the back of the arena. The hall was filled with flashing bright lights which increased the lively atmosphere in the building. Hosted by Colm Hayes from RTE 2FM, the congress saw many well-known people from Ireland and abroad including Dustin the Turkey, Connaught rugby coach Pat Lam, the High Hopes Choir and many more. All of the guests on stage were there to reassure everyone that if you’re feeling down you must talk about it to someone. It gets so much pressure and anxiety off your chest and from there you’re on the road to recovery. Many of the people on stage shared their stories and experience with depression and it showed to everyone of how much they have recovered. During different parts of the show, dancers came out on stage and they got everyone on their feet dancing. There was such a positive atmosphere throughout the event and it definitely put everyone in a good mood. Many suicide prevention organizations had stalls all around the arena and you could go to them at any time during the show to have a chat with them if you needed to. All students and teachers that attended the show were highly advised to use their mobile phones during the show to hashtag the event on twitter and add them on snapchat to have a look back stage at the congress. Using these social media apps spread more awareness to those that were not at the show.
Over all, the day was so enjoyable and was a fantastic day out. I would highly recommend next years TY class to attend the congress and to have as much of the TY students to go as possible. There wasn’t one thing I disliked about the day at all. There was such a sense of reassurance at the congress that was such a benefit to anyone that felt down or just needed to talk to someone about anything that may be worrying them.

Category: HSCL , Transition Year