The campaign will run throughout the month to mark World Mental Health Day, which is today, October 10th.
During the month, Mental Health Ireland will run events that focus on promoting awareness and global mental wellbeing. This year, the campaign theme chosen by the World Federation for Mental Health is ‘Mental Health & Wellbeing for All: A Global Priority’.
Various events are planned to mark the month, including Five Ways to Wellbeing workshops, which aim to promote mental wellbeing. Other activities include a Connect Cafe initiative and an open information stand on October 10th at the Galway Shopping Centre. The campaign will also host an introduction to forest bathing.
Aíne Hurley, Mental Health Ireland’s Development Officer for Galway City and County, will host a talk at the University of Galway on October 18th. She will be joined by the university’s student health and wellbeing initiative programme, Seas Suas.
Accessible Mental Health Support
The campaign aims “to promote mental health for everyone in our communities and be inclusive of those who have mental health difficulties,” says Ms Hurley.
“We reach out to communities and try and give those communities what they want. I don’t go into any community and say what they need for mental health. We work based on what the community told me they need.”
Increased Demand for Services
According to Ms Hurley, the campaign was always planned to be expanded to a month-long. “This year, we just feel that it’s needed, it’s badly needed.
“The number of requests we’ve had looking for support from our services has gone up, which is a good and a bad thing. It shows that people are looking for support and that the stigma around mental health probably is decreasing.
“At Mental Health Ireland, we aim to promote and to enhance wellbeing, rather than to verify it. [This] is what sometimes mental health services are aimed towards and what this year’s Budget was aimed towards,” she said. This year’s budget allocated a record amount to mental health services.
“Luckily,” she continued, “I think that the tide is changing. I think that more investment is being put into prevention, promotion and enhancing wellbeing.”