Arklow host Cycle Against Suicide 2016

Thousands of orange jerseys will cycle into town on Friday, May 6th

Arklow will turn orange on Friday, May 6th as several thousand cyclists arrive into the town as part of Cycle Against Suicide 2016.

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According to Cycle Against Suicide organisers, involvement in the event is set to peak in 2016, with approximately 7,000 cyclists expected to participate in the 14 day, 1,100 kilometre cycle around Ireland. A large proportion of that number will descend on Arklow, where the Cycle stops overnight on Friday, May 6th.

Students from every year in St. Mary’s College have been making preparations for months now for the arrival of over a thousand cyclists on the evening of May 6th. The school has had a series of presentations on the topic of achieving and maintaining positive mental health, and some brave staff and students have even been training to complete a leg of the Main Cycle itself.

The peloton of cyclists, wearing the orange Cycle Against Suicide jersey, will receive a warm, colourful and musical welcome when they arrive on May 6th, with a whole variety of acts heralding their arrival.

Speaking this week, St. Mary’s College Link Teacher, Angela Flynn said;

“St. Mary’s College are delighted to have been nominated as an Anchor School for Cycle Against Suicide, as it travels around the country spreading the message that ‘It’s OK not to feel OK; and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help’. What a great message to give all young people. Our whole school community of staff, parents and friends are excited about this initiative.The impact of this type of activity is powerful and far reaching, not just in our schools, but also in the community. It gets the conversation around mental health going, and highlights the support services that are available to those who need them.”

The local Homestay team have also been working tirelessly to ensure that all cyclists and crew requiring Homestays have been accommodated; a huge testament to the generosity, support and spirit of the community of Arklow.

The next morning, Saturday, May 7th, an inspiring, informative and energetic event will be held in St. Mary’s College, comprising of presentations from guest speakers, entertainment, and exhibitions from local and national Mental Health Organisations. The primary aim of these events is to positively change our mind set and behaviour around mental health and emotional wellbeing by conveying Cycle Against Suicide’s core message that ‘It’s OK not to feel OK; and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help’. The Cycle will then make its way to Newcastle, where it will break for lunch, before continuing on to its final destination, the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham.

Cycle Against Suicide founder, Jim Breen said:

“This is the fourth year of the Cycle Against Suicide and we’re blown away by the phenomenal response from the schools and communities involved in the Cycle. This support is critical in helping us spread the message that “It’s OK not to feel OK; and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help”. Each year, over the two weeks of our Cycle, we give presentations in schools, businesses and communities all around the island of Ireland, and we witness how hugely responsive people are to that message. We also see the value people place on their own mental wellbeing, and that of their friends and families. Together, shoulder to shoulder, we can empower one another to break the cycle of suicide on the island of Ireland.”

There are still many ways to become involved in this year’s Main Cycle: register to cycle for a leg, a day, a weekend or maybe even longer; offer your support as a volunteer as the event passes through your community, or simply make your presence felt on the streets of Arklow as the peloton arrives or departs. Please see www.cycleagainstsuicide.com or e-mail volunteer@cycleagainstsuicide.com for more information.

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