Course to tackle causes of stress

Irish Examiner - County - - News - Christy Parker

The HSE is ac­cept­ing ap­pli­ca­tions from peo­ple who wish to bet­ter con­trol their stress lev­els by tak­ing part in cour­ses com­menc­ing in Cobh and Youghal this month.

The six-week cour­ses, which are free, are man­aged by the HSE Pri­mary Care Psy­chol­ogy Ser­vices un­der its ‘Cork Beats Stress Ini­tia­tive.’

The pro­ject be­gan in 2014 with course venues ro­tat­ing an­nu­ally across the county in con­junc­tion with the GAA and other or­gan­i­sa­tions.

This year’s col­lab­o­ra­tions fea­ture Kil­leagh GAA’s Healthy Club ini­tia­tive, Youghal’s Fam­ily Re­source Cen­tre and Cobh GAA.

“The feed­back is hugely pos­i­tive”, says HSE prin­ci­pal psy­chol­o­gist Jen­nifer Hayes, “with many par­tic­i­pants re­flect­ing on im­proved con­fi­dence, en­hanced qual­ity of life and greater con­nec­tiv­ity with fam­ily and friends.”

She said the course ben­e­fits are mul­ti­ple in that as well as help­ing to man­age stress, it re­duces stigma and en­cour­ages dis­cus­sion of stress among suf­fer­ers.

The ses­sions operate in a lec­ture for­mat de­liv­ered by HSE pri­mary care psy­chol­o­gists with par­tic­i­pants not asked or en­cour­aged to speak about per­sonal is­sues.

The fo­cus is largely on im­part­ing skills to recog­nise, con­trol and re­duce stress in every­day si­t­u­a­tions.

“We are all primed bi­o­log­i­cally to ex­pe­ri­ence stress,” Jen­nifer says. “It’s a nat­u­ral cop­ing mech­a­nism but prob­lems arise when it is trig­gered by non-life threat­en­ing events and be­comes un­con­trolled.” In that re­spect it is not per­ti­nent to feel un­der stress in or­der to at­tend or to ben­e­fit from the course.

Par­tic­i­pants can book places for ei­ther Cobh GAA club, Car­rig­nafoy or the Mall Arts Cen­tre, Youghal Ses­sions will be held on Thurs­days 10.30am–12pm; on Septem­ber 21, 28 and Oc­to­ber 5, 12, 19 and 26.

In­for­ma­tion/ book­ing by email­ing name, ad­dress and con­tact phone num­ber, along with pre­ferred lo­ca­tion to: CorkBeat­sStress@hse.ie or by phone on 086 787 1016.

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