Mother of teen who died by suicide calls for others not to suffer in silence

By Sarah Slater

A mother whose 14-year-old daughter died by suicide earlier this year has called on those suffering from suicidal thoughts to talk to someone.

Grainne Gault’s daughter Elisha, died on St Patrick’s Day and her body was recovered from the River Suir on March 25, near her home of Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, after she went missing eight days previously.

The body of the missing teenager was found about 8km from where she was last seen on a bridge in the town. The search and rescue Coast Guard helicopter was on its way back to Waterford airport from a routine operation but crew members saw a body floating in the water near Fiddown bridge.

Elisha’s mother Grainne, has kept her daughter’s Facebook page as both a memorial to Elisha and for young people and adults who suffer with mental health difficulties.

On her daughter’s official Facebook page, Ms Gault posted: “To say time is a great healer, I beg to differ, time doesn’t heal pain in grief. Six months ago Sat 17th March at 10.09pm is officially the worst moment of my life, our life, we lost our egg, my baby girl.

“It was in that moment, she gave up and couldn’t take pain anymore. It took us eight of the longest, toughest days to get her back into our arms again.

“What death leaves behind is your pain tenfold, even one hundred fold, handed over to those who love the bones of you.”

But the brave mother went on to say that, despite being heartbroken over the death of her cherished daughter, those considering taking their lives should believe that people are there to help them deal with their troubles.

“Even if at times your mind tells you otherwise, you are loved, from your mother, father, sister, brother, child, best buddy even your coach, teacher - we are all loved by someone, even if we haven’t figured out how to love ourselves yet.

“I know its easy to say don’t give up, it’s ok not to be ok…talk (to people). These are all attempts to get through to (those who are suffering) from those who are crippled and saddened with grief, from the loss of people who have left this earth, leaving behind a crater in their heart and soul.

Elisha Gault.

“They’re imperfect people too, we all have imperfections and sometimes, lets face it, are pretty shit at handling situations but please don't take that as a sign you’re not loved and they aren’t prepared to help, they just don’t know how to stop your pain.”

Ms Gault pointed out that she believes that mental health supports are relatively in their infancy. “There’s no one-shoe-fits-all approach. Not all solutions exist in Ireland but I do know this, together we can learn a better way. We can reach out and pull others close and the reality is, as parents and carers, we too need support, we need to learn a different approach, to ultimately offer a brighter outcome.

“Don't suffer in silence, don't live wrestling with your mind alone, reach out, to a GP, Pieta House (mental health charity), somebody and express your thoughts so you can be guided on how to handle them, how to assess your environment, to remove as many triggers as possible.

“Step forward and do whatever it takes to regain the control you feel you are losing. You are worth the fight.”

Ms Gault is taking part in a skydive from 10,00ft on October 21, along with dozens of the teenager’s friends to raise awareness of mental health services for young people.

Seek help

If you are having suicidal thoughts yourmentalhealth.ie have identified several ways to get help:

Talk to a G.P.

Contact a local family doctor (G.P.) or health centre by visiting the HSE.ie online service finder. If it's late in the evening, night time or the weekend, contact a G.P. Out of Hours Service. G.P.s are also listed under ‘General Practitioners’ in the Golden Pages. Find out how a G.P. can offer support for mental health problems.

Contact hospital services

Go to or contact the Emergency Department of your nearest general hospital if you are contemplating suicide or if you need help. Hospitals are listed on the HSE.ie online service finder. You can also contact the emergency services by calling 999 or 112 if you or someone else has harmed themselves or taken an overdose.

Make an appointment with H.S.E. Mental health services

If you have been (or are currently) supported by a mental health team, go to the Emergency Department or contact the service you are attending and ask for an appointment as soon as possible.

Counselling

Pieta House offer support and counselling for people who have experienced suicidal thoughts.

Listening service

Samaritans is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for anyone struggling to cope or struggling with suicidal thoughts. For confidential, non-judgemental support please free call 116 123, email jo@samaritans.ie, or visit www.samaritans.ie for details of the nearest branch.

You might need to try a few options before you find appropriate support but don’t give up trying – there is help available. If possible, ask someone to come along with you to the support service you contact.

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