Meet­ing raises dif­fi­cult topic of men­tal health

Wexford People - - NEWS - BY PADRAIG BYRNE

THERE was a great at­ten­dance at The River­side Park Ho­tel re­cently as a meet­ing was hosted to dis­cuss top­ics such as men­tal health and safety in the work­place, par­tic­u­larly fo­cus­ing on the farm­ing com­mu­nity.

The event was or­gan­ised lo­cally by lo­cal farmer and See Change Ire­land am­bas­sador Pa­trick Hip­well and it co­in­cided with the launch of the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s month-long Green Rib­bon Cam­paign which aims to raise aware­ness and cut out some of the stigma that still sur­rounds men­tal health.

An ar­ray of fas­ci­nat­ing speak­ers took to the podium on the night and the event was chaired by Pat O’Toole of the Farmer’s Jour­nal. He in­tro­duced speak­ers such as Pa­trick, Deirdre Doyle from Tea­gasc, Shauna O’Con­nor from See Change, Fianna Fáil spokesper­son for men­tal health James Browne and AIB Bank Man­ager Ma­ree Lyng who spoke of how best to tackle fi­nan­cial prob­lems.

Per­haps the most in­spir­ing speaker on the night, how­ever, was Chair­per­son of Aware­ness Head to Toe Ge­orge Gra­ham, who spoke of his own bat­tles with men­tal health prob­lems and how he came through. A spe­cial song com­posed on the topic of men­tal health was also per­formed by Jim Red­mond and Mick Ka­vanagh.

All in all, it was an in­spir­ing night and no doubt the some 70 strong crowd present will all have taken some­thing from it. A num­ber of prom­i­nent or­gan­i­sa­tions were also rep­re­sented on the night and will have taken a great mes­sage to give back to their mem­bers.

‘I was de­lighted with the turnout,’ said Pa­trick. ‘If we had’ve had this meet­ing five years ago, no­body would have turned up, so I sup­pose it’s great to see progress be­ing made in the area of men­tal health.

Jim Red­mond and Mick Ka­vanagh per­form a song com­posed on the topic of men­tal health.

Ge­orge Gra­ham, chair­man of Aware­ness Head to Toe, and James Browne TD at the meet­ing.

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