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Catherine Martin T.D.'s "Let's Talk Mental Health" Public Meeting - July 5th, 2018

On Thursday, 5th of July 2018, the ICCI hosted a meeting held by Catherine Martin T.D. from the Green Party entitled “Let’s Talk Mental Health”. The goal of the meeting was to bring awareness to the very important issue that is Mental Health in today’s society.

The three guest speakers of the night: Senator Joan Freeman, Mr Ian Power and Dr Sohail Rasool, aimed to show the magnitude of the issue during their talks.

Senator Joan Freeman, who in 2016 set up Pieta House (the centre for the Prevention of Self-Harm or Suicide), talked about her experiences with Mental Health advocacy and called people to speak out about their personal experiences to create change and increase awareness.

Ian Power, executive director of Ireland’s youth information website SpunOut.ie, brought to the table the perspective of the youth on the issue, and talked about how young people can find answers and support using their platform.

Dr Rasool gave his presentation with emphasis on the medical side of Mental Health, shedding light on complicated issues in order to clarify and increase understanding on the matter. He talked about how there are not enough practitioners are addressing the issue and how the HSE needs to invest more in Mental Health.

Dr Rasool and Mr Power highlighted 5 steps to improve one’s wellbeing:

  1. Connect: connect with people around you to enrich your everyday life
  2. Be Active: discover a physical activity that you enjoy and suits your lifestyle; being active helps you feel good
  3. Take Notice: be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling; try to appreciate the positive moments life offers and recognise the value of your experiences
  4. Keep Learning: keeping your brain active is a good step towards positive well being
  5. Give: volunteering and giving back to your community can be incredibly rewarding, it helps you connect to those around you.

 

After the speakers delivered their talks, there was a Q&A session where the attendees had the opportunity to ask and talk about their concerns regarding the issue of Mental Health and about the need for it to be dealt with more seriously by the government, political parties and those who are in charge.

All seats were filled, and many members of the wider Irish community were in attendance.

Ms. Martin T.D. thanked the Centre for hosting the talk.