There was a time in my life when the sound of an approaching helicopter conjured up images of holidays, glamour and adventure. Then three years ago I moved back home to
Limerick and took up a job with a company located near the banks of the Shannon River. Now, the dreaded drill of helicopter rotors evokes feelings in me of death, distress and despair.
The sight and sound of the Coastguard rescue chopper is a regular occurrence in this city and it is not hard to see why. Limerick appears, at least anecdotally, to have one of the highest suicide and self-harm rates in the country. Alongside this, we have increasing numbers seeking support for depression and related disorders. It is safe to say that Limerick city and its people are in a state of emotional distress.