6 May 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Veronica Corr

Last week The Northern Standard was contacted about a funding crisis at Save Our Sons and Daughters (SOSAD), the suicide prevention and bereavement support charity with an office in Carrickmacross, which services the whole of Co. Monaghan.

So, we spoke to SOSAD’s founder Peter Moroney about the future of the charity in light of these financial troubles.

“It’s an organisation-wide crisis but let me say this, we won’t be closing anywhere. We will keep going, how we’ll keep going, I don’t know, but so far we are getting great support,” he said, before adding: “We are going to stay open, we are not going to let people down in Monaghan or anywhere we are.”

Mr. Moroney explained that the crisis has been growing over the past year or so and that they never have enough money to pay their bills.

“We’re gone past breaking point, the last few months we’ve been so close to insolvency, but we’ve kept going because we get great support,” he stated, before continuing: “We’re trying to push the government and the HSE to play their part — It’s about time. They’ve done nothing for us, absolutely nothing at all… they have to turn around now and help us out because we’re actually covering for the HSE.”

When asked what he thought of the recent cut of €12 million to the €35 million ringfenced for mental health budget and the turnout at the Dáil debate, Peter said: “That’s exactly how our government looks at people suffering from mental health issues, we are like lepers. They don’t care about us and they’re hoping they can put us away and we’ll disappear and we won’t bother them.”

Peter was of the opinion that all the politicians will say, ‘we support you,’ but felt that the turnout for the big debate in the Dáil on the subject was “an absolute disgrace.” He and others from the charity are seeking a meeting with Minister for Health Leo Varadkar.

“The Minister said that the €12 million was reallocated because it wasn’t spent. Of course it wasn’t spent because they don’t support anybody. Sure, we’re not halfway through the year yet. It’s an excuse.

“There are other groups like us that are struggling like crazy, trying to stay alive and the government doesn’t care,” Mr. Moroney commented.

When asked what kind of a reaction Peter and his colleagues got from the ministers and TDs when lobbied, he said:

“They promise the earth and I’ve seen very little delivered. I’ve seen questions raised by them, but that’s all. I’m looking for more than that, I’m looking for action.

“Maybe they are working on something and will come back to me with something concrete in a week or two, I don’t know. But I’m not holding my breath though,” he said, before going on to state:

“We are proceeding as if the government or the HSE won’t fund us. We have plans in place, but we just need more community support.

“Basically what we need is more volunteers in SOSAD, so we can share the workload. We have to look after our clients first. We have to show the public that our doors are always open, the phone is always on, that we are ready to meet anybody and we’re not going to change that.”

So the charity are humbly asking the public for their help: “We could become insolvent but we’re not going to let that happen. We’re not going to get the stage where we have to close the door.

“When we spread the word the community will be jumping on board in a big way… It’s a disgrace that the same people have to give to us all the time because the government or the HSE won’t support us.

“SOSAD needs volunteers right across their service in reception, marketing, social media, promotion, suicide intervention, bereavement support etc. There’s loads and loads of roles.”

Peter also wanted to encourage communities to have fundraisers and keep SOSAD in mind as a cause:

“We are a crucial part of the community, and I’m not saying we’re unique in this, we’re like any other charity, but we have to voice it now that we are …


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