Kerry Education Resource Centre

Youth Suicide Prevention Ireland are opening an Education Resource Centre in Killarney to serve County Kerry. This will be the first centre of its kind in the country.

The centre will provide specialist mental health awareness and recognition training for primary and secondary teachers from the county's schools.

The Kerry Education Resource Centre will be staffed by our volunteers but the Centre will also provide a base for our highly trained Educational Facilitators as well as counsellors.


Providing specialist mental health awareness and recognition training for primary and secondary teachers from the county’s schools.


Organising workshops around Kerry for parents and anyone who would like to find out more about mental health awareness and particularly about youth suicide prevention.


Providing discreet drop-in facilities for casual callers looking for support, information or just a coffee and a chat.


Supporting a counselling referral service for parents concerned about their children’s behaviour where we will fund the cost of counselling.

Our Schools Programme

Schools in our programme
New schools joining in 2016
Students trained so far in 2016
Student target for 2016


The Four Steps for Schools Programme

The Four Steps to Help Programme has been developed over the last 4 years in response to requests from schools and students for a youth-orientated mental health awareness and suicide prevention system that can be delivered in the classroom to students aged 16 and above. The programme consists of: Classroom based presentation provided by one of our trained facilitators and includes a 24 page booklet for each student attending; Teacher Resource Pack which provides seven lesson plans with worksheets amd handouts that build on topics raised in the presentation; and our Teachers’ Handbook which provides a detailed overview of youth suicide prevention and intervention from a teacher’s perspective.

Why Kerry needs this centre?

As part of our strategic review in 2015 we identified County Kerry as an area which has unusually high risk indicators for youth suicide and self-harm.

Youth suicide is the number one cause of death amongst young males in Ireland. Almost no community in the country has been left untouched by this tragic situation. The need for action has never been greater, and never been more urgent, particularly as funding for mental health services is continually being reduced. Ireland still has the 3rd highest reported rate of youth suicide in the Euopean Union. Youth Suicide Prevention Ireland has responded to this by launching our School Visits Programme which provided over 210 in-class workshops for schools and colleges in the 2015-2016 school year and provided nearly 18,000 secondary school students with the skills and information to recognise someone in distress and know what to do about it.

Due to the increased levels of mental health awareness among students we have been repeatedly asked by schools about providing additional free training for teachers who are in the frontline of working with young people who are at risk. Teachers need additional specialist training to identify, understand and be able to deal with young people in crisis.

As part of our development work in schools we have also been asked about providing a free youth crisis counselling service, either online or face to face, for students from Kerry schools who want to talk to a qualified counsellor. Most schools are unable to provide crisis counselling of this type for their students so we want to offer this free service from the Kerry Education Resource Centre as part of our programme here in the county. All our counsellors are fully trained, registered and Garda vetted.

We will be providing specialist training for teachers in a variety of situtaions. We can work in school to provide training to a number of teachers from the same school, or we will also be organising workshops around the county where teachers can attend their nearest workshop. The workshops are modular and will cover topics such as: recognising teen risk factors, identifying signal behaviours, dealing with students in crisis, the role of a teacher in crisis management and stress management for students.

Youth Suicide Prevention Ireland is already working with secondary schools in County Kerry to raise awareness of the youth suicide crisis in Ireland and provide suicide prevention workshops for students through our Integrated School Visits Programme. The programme has been running since 2012. We visited around 130 secondary schools and provided classroom based awareness and prevention training face to face with about 18,000 students in 2015. So far in 2016 we have 146 new schools in our programme and we are heading for over 24,000 face to face student sessions.

How can you YOU support our Kerry centre

YSPI don’t receive any state funding and we rely on the generosity of the public and businesses to support our work.

It will cost us about €6,000 to fund the Kerry Education Resource Centre for 12 months. This includes rent, rates and utilities. The Kerry Education Resource Centre will be staffed by volunteers but the Centre will also provide a base for our highly trained Educational Facilitators as well as counsellors.

There are just so many young people in crisis at the moment so we are looking for support from local Kerry businesses to sponsor our Resource Centre here in County Kerry. If 25 local Kerry businesses could make a donation of just €250, which would also qualify for tax relief, we could be fully funded and running before Christmas; and unfortunately Christmas is one of our busiest times of the year.