Today, Monday 10th October, is World Mental Health Day, following on from World Suicide Prevention Day which took place on 10th September.
The theme of this year’s campaign is ‘Creating Hope Through Action’.
Clubs, counties and individuals are encouraged to engage with the campaign by visiting the links below for more information, resources and ideas on what can be done:
6 Counties: www.mindingyourhead.info
Cavan, Monaghan & Donegal: www.hse.ie
The Public Health Agency and the Health Service Executive have shared ideas about how you can connect to improve your wellbeing on their social media channels. Local groups and organisations will also be providing opportunities to connect with people in your community.
We can all create hope through action by grabbing a coffee and connecting with friends and family during the campaign – in person or over the phone! Being part of a GAA club naturally provides many opportunities for people to connect with others, connect to their community, and connect to the sense of belonging and identity which is such a big part of our GAA involvement.
Clubs are encouraged to plan some sort of activity over the five weeks which places an emphasis on the very important value of connectedness. Oftentimes we take this for granted when we are busy doing all the things that need doing in our clubs, and everyday lives.
Whether playing, coaching, refereeing, dropping kids off, or duties relating to an official role; the campaign acts as a good reminder to appreciate just how our actions help us to connect. It also serves as a reminder to slow down and take the time to have the chat you’ve been meaning to have.
Some clubs might wish to follow the popular movement of the Camerados Movement and go ahead to set-up a Public Living Room at their club. In essence many clubs may already have this going-on in their club, but the idea is that a space can be offered up to the public, where people come for a chat, a cup of tea, possibly read books, play board games etc. The space doesn’t have to be open all the time – clubs can choose their hours for when they are open and welcome the public in.
This movement is proving popular across the globe, and for most clubs is something that could be very easily achieved. More information can be found at camerados.org/set-up-a-public-living-room.
Although CONNECT is the theme for this year’s campaign, clubs can get information about the other steps to wellbeing on Ulster GAA’s Health and Wellbeing microsite. There are 5 Steps in total and more information can be found at ulster.gaa.ie/health/programmes/ulster-gaa-take-5-steps-wellbeing
Samaritans continue to play a vital role, partnering with the GAA as their national mental health partner. Samaritans are open for business, and are only too glad to receive calls and emails. If you are concerned about yourself or someone you know you can contact Samaritans 24/7 on the contact details provided. If you are concerned for someone’s immediate safety call 999 or Lifeline on the contact details provided.
Samaritans: Call 116 123
Lifeline: Call 0808 808 8000 or Textphone 18001 0808 808 800