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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 2 September, 2014

Dublin star Flynn steps outside ‘comfort zone’ and helps to promote suicide awareness

The two-time All-Ireland winner has sought to publicise the work of suicide and self harm centre Pieta House.

Flynn was speaking at the launch of Adidas' new Predator Incurza XTRX SGII boot.
Flynn was speaking at the launch of Adidas' new Predator Incurza XTRX SGII boot.
Image: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE

DUBLIN FOOTBALL STAR Paul Flynn has revealed how nervous he was about stepping outside his ‘comfort zone’ and becoming an ambassador for suicide awareness.

But the two-time All-Ireland medallist insists any work he has put in has been worth it after receiving correspondence that he steered one person away from suicide.

Forward Flynn, who turns 28 today, lost a pal to suicide and was prompted to publicise the work of suicide and self harm centre Pieta House.

He talked about the issue on Brendan O’Connor’s TV show early last year and admitted that while it was difficult to discuss, it was worth it.

“After the show that I did, the Saturday Night Show, I got a message saying they knew somebody that was thinking about [suicide], dying, whatever way you say it with regards to suicide, but that they didn’t, they sought help and that, ‘look, you’ve saved one person’s life’,” revealed Flynn.

“I was just saying it that if nothing else happens after that, I don’t care. That was enough on its own. There’s no doubt about it. It’s a very important issue to address.

Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

“And I was so nervous doing the show that time because it’s not my comfort zone. I can talk about sport or football but when you’re talking about something that you’re not really that tuned into, it’s difficult.

“But after that (the message), it definitely was worth it.”

‘We Wear More’

Flynn praised the work of the Gaelic Players Association who recently enlisted several high profile players to front their ‘We Wear More’ mental health campaign.

“People have contacted me, not just players but in different places through the GAA circuit,” said Flynn. “I direct them to the right people. I’m not a counsellor or anything like it. Some people do contact me so I pass them on and try to help that way.”

Flynn is currently gearing up for Sunday week’s Leinster football final with Dublin and claimed that Kerry’s win over Cork in Sunday’s Munster football final was the best performance of any team in the Championship so far.

“I’d say Kerry’s was probably the best performance of the year so far, they were class, there’s no doubt about it,” said Flynn

He also confirmed that Bernard Brogan will be available for selection after overcoming the hamstring injury which kept him out of the semi-final win over Wexford.

“He’s training away,” said Flynn. “He’ll put himself in contention. He looks good to go, yeah.”

Helplines:

  • Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email mary@pieta.ie

  • Samaritans 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org

  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634

  • Console 1800 201 890

  • Aware 1890 303 302

  • Childline 1800 66 66 66

‘For him to suffer in silence with it for so long, it was a bit of a wake-up call’

‘We Wear More’ – GPA aim to uncover the mental health issues beneath the county jersey

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