Category: Archive

Lukeman for Aisling in Dolan’s

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The 2010 Meteor award nominee for best Irish male singer is visiting U.S. to raise awareness of suicide prevention and to raise funds for the Aisling Center’s social service programs.
Lukeman was recently appointed an ambassador forone of Ireland’s largest charities, Console, which is supported by President
Mary McAleese. Console’s mission is to promote positive mental health and suicide prevention.
Proceeds from the Yonkers performance will specifically fund the Aisling Irish Community Center’s mental health and suicide
prevention programs.
“We are honored that Jack L, one of Ireland’s top performers, is generously donating his time and talent to support our holistic health services, particularly our suicide prevention efforts,” said Orla Kelleher, Aisling’s executive director.
“In response to a number of recent suicides and sudden accidental deaths in the Irish community in New York, we organized a Mass at St. Barnabas Church for families and friends who have lost loved ones,” Kelleher said.
“Depression awareness is such an important issue for us here and in Ireland. It’s particularly heartbreaking for those who cannot go home to bury their loves ones because of their undocumented status in the U.S,” she said.
The Aisling Center currently provides a full-time social worker who provides counseling by appointment or on a walk-in basis for people who are depressed and having suicidal thoughts, as well as for family and friends who have lost loved ones through suicide.
The center is the official location in Westchester County for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) National Survivors of Suicide web cast held annually in November.
“My goal is to spread the word that help is available for people who are depressed and having suicidal thoughts – not only in Ireland and the U.S., but also globally,” said Kildare-born Jack L, whose own life has been touched by suicide.
“This is a cause that is deeply personal to me, and I feel fortunate to be in a position, thanks to my role as Console Ambassador for 2010, to be able to make a difference and possibly prevent future suicide attempts and deaths,” he said in advance of his visit.
In 2005, the Aisling Center produced a social services directory, “Mind Yourself,” aimed specifically towards young Irish immigrants in New York, as well as the entire Bronx-Westchester community. It contains information and contact details for various medical, social and recreational matters in directory form.
The booklet and new magnetic cards containing vital numbers in the event of a mental health crisis are available at the
Aisling Center and online at www.mindyourself.org.
Part of the funds raised by the Jack L benefit will, meanwhile, go to the Aisling Center’s compassionate aid fund that was established assist with the U.S. funeral home costs of Irish people who die tragically in this country.
“We help pay for the funeral costs of families who reside in Ireland and do not have the financial means to bring their loved ones home for burial,” Orla Kelleher said.
“Such tragedies are difficult enough for family and friends to come to terms with. We hope that by assisting with funeral costs
we can help in some small way to ease their grief.”
Jack L will perform at Rory Dolan’s on McLean Avenue starting at 9 p.m. on the 16th. The suggested donation at the door is $25. More details from the Aisling Center at (914)237-5121 or www.aislingcenter.org.

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