WEEK TO PUT MEN­TAL HEALTH IN THE FRAME

IT’S WORLD MEN­TAL HEALTH WEEK AND MAR­GARET RODDY LOOKS AT EVENTS BE­ING OR­GAN­ISED LO­CALLY

The Argus - - NEWS SPECIAL -

DUN­DALK POS­I­TIVE MEN­TAL HEALTH FO­RUM PRO­MOTES LO­CAL EVENTS

Pos­i­tive Men­tal Health Week is be­ing pro­moted lo­cally by the Dun­dalk Pos­i­tive Men­tal Health Fo­rum which is an um­brella group for a num­ber of or­gan­i­sa­tions work­ing within the com­mu­nity pro­vid­ing sup­ports for peo­ple with men­tal health dif­fi­cul­ties.

‘ The fo­rum was formed to pro­mote aware­ness around men­tal health and the sup­port ser­vices which there are to help peo­ple,’ ex­plains Derek Pep­per of SHINE, which is one of the vol­un­tary groups rep­re­sented on the fo­rum along with GROW, Dun­dalk Out­com­ers, Turas ad­dic­tion ser­vices, Dun­dalk Coun­selling Cen­tre, the HSE and the Gar­dai.

‘Ev­ery year we run a few events on the con­cept of men­tal health is­sues and this year our main event is on Wed­nes­day with the open­ing an art ex­hi­bi­tion and talks and dis­cus­sions.’

The ex­hi­bi­tion in the County Mue­sum will be opened by Dun­dalk man­ager Stephen Kenny at 12 noon on Wed­nes­day, and it will be fol­lowed by talks on the is­sue of men­tal health and stress. That evening there will be an in­for­ma­tion ses­sion on cy­ber bul­ly­ing and in­ter­net se­cu­rity in the Fri­ary Girls’ School at 7pm.

Ciaran Wynne, a psy­chol­o­gist with the HSE will talk about the im­por­tance of stress man­age­ment while SeeChange am­bas­sador Bar­bara Bren­nan will speak of her per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence of men­tal health dif­fi­cul­ties.

Derek ex­plains that the speak­ers have been se­lected so that peo­ple can dis­cover the im­por­tance of nip­ping prob­lems such as stress in the bud be­fore it blos­soms into an over­whelm­ing weed which can trig­ger a num­ber of men­tal health prob­lems and also to re­alise that there is light at the end of the tun­nel, no mat­ter how dark life can seem.

‘Stress is a ma­jor fac­tor in our lives but it can turn into some­thing more clin­i­cal,’ says Derek.

‘Stress can be­gin in very small ways and it’s some­thing which af­fects us all. We all dif­fi­cul­ties in our lives, be it dif­fi­cul­ties a re­la­tion­ship, dif­fi­cul­ties at work, fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties, phys­i­cal health prob­lems, the loss of a loved one, th­ese all con­trib­ute to el­e­ments of emo­tional dis­tress. Young peo­ple stress un­der the pres­sure of go­ing into ex­ams, of go­ing to col­lege, of liv­ing away from home for the first time.’

‘We are try­ing to fo­cus on pre­par­ing peo­ple to deal with the be­gin­nings of stress, to iden­tify and man­age it so that it doesn’t de­velop into a clin­i­cal men­tal ill­ness.’

He de­scribes SeeChange am­bas­sador, artist and mu­si­cian Bar­bara Bren­nan, who has spo­ken openly about her own strug­gle with men­tal health is­sues, in­clud­ing at­tempt­ing sui­cide as a teenager, ‘as one of the most in­spi­ra­tional speak­ers I’ve ever heard.’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.