Tallaght man Vincent Whelan has a strong message for those struggling with mental health and suicidal thoughts – ‘you are not alone’.
Vincent has lived in the area for more than 30 years and has experienced first-hand the increase in people suffering, declining mental health and the instances of suicide become more prevalent.
He is organising a charity indoor football tournament this August to help open up a dialogue around suicide and mental health amongst young people.
He told InTallaght: “The main reason I am doing this is that I want to be able to help anyway possible with the prevention of suicide. Football is a great way of bringing people together and with having so many high profile people in attendance on the day of the event it shows we all want to help and reach out to people who need reaching out to.”
“I have seen the affect suicide has on the people it has touched and the devastation it inflicts – I want to try to help people see that the organisations and individuals that are supporting this event are doing it to show that we are all here to help anyone who is in search of support.”
The event will take place in the Basketball Arena in Tallaght on August 27th and will feature eight teams made up of celebrities, League of Ireland legends and ordinary people.
There will also be an Irish Freestyle team and representatives from the Irish Homeless Street League.
The main sponsor for the event is Renault Belgard with Event Source also on board alongside kit sponsor is Teamwear and a number of other companies have donated spot prizes for a raffle to raise extra funds.
Organiser Vincent is now keen to get some volunteers on board to help with running the event on the day, collecting prizes and selling raffle tickets.
Tickets to the event are just €5 with a surprise guest comedian as MC for the day and all money raised going to Jigsaw, the youth mental health organisation. The Tallaght man hopes to raise as much as possible for Jigsaw and chose a venue which could hold over 2,000 people.
Vincent said: “We would really love people to come out and show their support and show people we are here for them. At the moment I am a one-man organisation so anyone who would love to help organise and anyone who wants to volunteer on the day of the event is very welcome.”
There is also a raffle planned to help raise funds and the main prize is a V.I.P Meet & Greet experience at The Coronas gig in Kilmainham. Tickets are on sale for the big prize now.
To volunteer for the event, provide sponsorship or to donate contact Vincent by email at [email protected]