Tattoo for Life, a fundraising initiative hosted by Hard Knox tattoo parlour in aid of Corbett Suicide Prevention was a huge success on Sunday, October 29.
The event took place from 10am-6pm on a first come first serve basis with tattooists Steve Savage, Sean Lyons and J working extremely hard to get through the massive turn out since the early hours.
Corbett Suicide Prevention, a key voluntary organisation in the city, is composed of hard-working men and women.
All of whom have been patrolling the river and waterfronts for the past five years, meeting and talking to individuals who may be contemplating suicide and intervening if needed.
The Tattoo For Life fundraiser was to show support for mental health and suicide prevention in the city and it is in aid of those who have lost someone they loved or have struggled with mental health themselves.
Tattoo For Life was launched by Limerick rapper, Weenz who also got a tattoo on the day.
“We did a Hip hop night back in March for Corbett and that’s when I met Louraine. She asked me during the week to come along and I jumped at it because they’re brilliant,” explained Weenz.
Weenz continued to say how he was, “blown away by the support and the amount of people that are here. It’s not just the money that’s raised it’s the awareness and encouraging people to be open”.
Hundreds of people from all age groups and backgrounds arrived for the highly anticipated event, some travelling from as far as Cork.
Founding member of the Corbett Suicide Prevention, Louraine Corbett Tomlinson, said: “We just wanted to raise awareness and break the stigma for mental health and suicide. We want to say there is help out there and if people are suffering from mental health they are getting tattoos for that but also if they lost someone to mental health that they are having a tattoo in memory of that person.
We have 200 odd people down in that queue and everyone is here because each person in that queue has been affected by suicide or mental health.”
“We closed the line at about 11:30am for the day because there were so many people. We had 250 people in that queue, there’s people here since seven and eight this morning in the queue that just wanted to make sure they got their tattoo. Its lovely to say we have fantastic support here today but it is scary to see how many people are affected by mental health and suicide and I suppose that’s really the sad side of it,” she continued.
Events like these are crucial for the survival of Corbett Suicide Prevention as they are not a government funded organisation.
Corbett Tomlinson expressed how, “we are not recognized by anybody, they don’t approach us, in the likes of political parties they don’t approach us because if they do they are admitting there is a problem”.
“We patrol three nights a week, we’re hoping to increase our patrols and we find we need people every age, all walks of life, its universal. For every one person that’s affected by suicide you’ve 50 people whether it be family members, work colleagues but there’s just nowhere for people to go. There needs to be walk in services available 24/7,” concluded Corbett Tomlinson.
The event had 27 tattoo designs to choose from, all ranging from €30 and €50, with a 20 percent discount for students with identification.
This allowed the tattoos to be affordable to the general public while also having a wide array of designs guaranteed to suit the majority.
“The semi-colon is the universal sign for mental health, we could just have people come in and get semi colons all day but we want to do something nice and have some bit of a variety,” explained Founder of Hard Knox Tattoo Parlour, Steve Savage.
Savage also went on to say how he is, “just happy to have the chance to gather a large body of people together for a positive cause”.
“This is our city, at the end of the day people need to start realizing this is our city not someone else’s city, not the council or the government, it ours and if you want to do something positive do it for the city,” he concluded.
In the humblest of fashion, Corbett Tomlinson boasted a huge amount of praise for: “the lads here in Hard Knox tattoo studio, to Lorraine’s bakery who donated 160 cupcakes this morning, the co-op in Raheen who donated teas and coffees and to Starbucks they came with teas and coffees for all our lads”.
To find out more about Corbett Suicide Prevention Patrol Limerick click here.
To make a donation to Corbett Suicide Prevention Patrol click here.
Find out more information on Hard Knox Tattoo Parlour here.