New social media campaign aims to improve mental health

June 23rd, 2017 | Health & Wellness, News

Ulster GAA in partnership with the Public Health Agency (PHA) is launching a new social media campaign aimed at improving mental and emotional wellbeing. The social media campaign is based around Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing and includes short films featuring five Ulster GAA Mental Health Ambassadors.

The 5 Steps to Wellbeing include simple things which we all can do every day to look after our mental wellbeing. The 5 Steps to Wellbeing are:

Connect with others around us to develop meaningful relationships;

Be Active through physical activities which we enjoy and which suit our ability;

Take Notice of our surroundings, pausing for a few moments to appreciate the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes which form an important part of living;

Keep Learning things which interest you, like a new language, a new recipe, or how to play a musical instrument;

Give to others; whether it’s a listening ear, your time through volunteering, or giving someone your appreciation.

The Ulster GAA Mental Health Ambassadors include: Mickey Harte (Tyrone GAA), Drew Wylie (Monaghan GAA), Geraldine McLaughlin (Donegal Ladies GAA), Aoife Ní Chaiside (Slaughtneil and Derry Camogie), and Ronan McNamee (Tyrone GAA).

The short films will be shown at the Ulster Senior Football Championship Semi-final between Down and Monaghan in the Athletic Grounds, Armagh on Saturday 24th June, and at the Ulster Senior Football Championship Final in Clones on Sunday 16th July. The campaign will be promoted by Ulster GAA on their social media channels, and shared with County Health and Wellbeing Committees, and Club Health and Wellbeing Officers. People are encouraged to share the content through personal social media accounts with the overall aim being to promote positive messages about mental health to a wide and diverse audience, resulting in improved mental health and wellbeing at a community-level.

Speaking about the campaign Ulster GAA President Michael Hasson said “It is evident that our mental wellbeing is such an important contributor to our overall health. We are very aware that we need to be more confident in speaking about mental health. I’m delighted to see Ulster GAA play a role in encouraging people to be more conscious of their mental health, and encouraging ‘The 5 Steps to Wellbeing’. I look forward to seeing the social media campaign being widely shared within our communities over the months and years to come. I would like to sincerely thank our Mental Health Ambassadors for engaging so positively in this very important campaign.

Fiona Teague, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manger with the Public Health Agency said “Since 2013 the PHA has been working with a number of sporting bodies including the GAA, IFA, IRFU and Sport NI to address specific health and wellbeing challenges in the communities and clubs they work in. The GAA has been one of the main governing bodies that has encompassed health and wellbeing as part of their core business in recent years, and the new social media campaign with GAA provides the PHA with an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about mental health with local communities.

For more information contact: Maura McMenamin, maura.mcmenamin.ulster@gaa.ie – 028 375 17180.

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