Sligo Leitrim Children and Young People’s Services Committee (CYPSC) in conjunction with the Sligo Leitrim Youth Mental Health Initiative have organised a series of informative talks relating to youth mental health. If you are a parent, teacher, or anyone who works with or has an interest in learning more about various topics around young people’s mental health, please have a look at the following flyers for more information and to sign up. These are free events!
World Mental Health Week takes place from the 8th-15th October this year. To celebrate the week a programme of events have been organised across Counties Sligo and Leitrim. Everyone is encouraged to take some time out and pay attention to their wellbeing and take steps to improve it. Have a look through the booklets for each county to find something that may interest you!
“Let’s talk about suicide”
Suicide Engagement Process Leitrim
The HSE, in partnership with local organisations and community and voluntary
groups are developing a Suicide Prevention Action Plan for County Leitrim. Although
there has been a lot of work ongoing in the county, there is still much that can be
done to promote good mental health, prevent further suicide deaths and support
those who are bereaved by suicide. We want as many people as possible from
Leitrim to contribute to the development of this action plan by contributing local
knowledge and expertise to this challenging topic.
“We believe that suicide prevention is everyone’s business and we all need to
consider what we can do individually and as part of our community to promote
mental health and reduce suicide” said Mike Rainsford, HSE Suicide Resource
Officer who is part of the team preparing the local action plan.
We are planning to engage with people in the county in a number of ways. Firstly, we have arranged a number of engagement meetings that will take place in May across the County of Leitrim. Everyone is welcome to come along to find out more about the plan and to share their thoughts and ideas on what we need to consider. The times, dates and locations of these meetings are outlined below.
We are also engaging with specific groups throughout the county who might be in a position to further inform our work by getting them to respond to/answer a few questions. Finally, we are asking people to complete our online survey at
http://connectingforlife.polldaddy.com/s/connecting-for-life-leitrim so that people can offer information or feedback online if they prefer.
Mike further explained “The National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) has developed the new national strategy for suicide prevention called ‘Connecting for Life’. This incorporates international best practice and builds on previous prevention measures and aims to reduce the risk factors for suicidal behaviour. While we are working alongside the NOSP to prepare our own local action plan specifically for Leitrim, there are a number of actions that will be coordinated at a national level which will support what we decide to do locally. We have a great team leading the project with members throughout the county representing a variety of sectors, including Bereavement Support groups, the Gardai, GPs, Coroners, Leitrim County Council, Leitrim Youth Service, education, community, sports and arts organisations as well as various services within the HSE.
This wide membership will ensure that the action plan will take account of the range of groups, organisations and services that need to work together to prevent suicide. Our action plan will be based upon evidence based knowledge and relevant local knowledge from the people of Leitrim. The HSE is asking for the people and communities of Leitrim to take part in this important consultation process. Don’t forget you can:
Attend the engagement meetings at the locations below
If requested as part of a group, complete a postcard with the relevant questions included
or complete the online survey at
Your input could make the difference to your local community, family and friends.
Workshops will take place at the following locations and dates:
Tuesday 3rd May
8.30pm – 10pm St Mary’s Hall, Carrick on Shannon
Wednesday 4th May
8pm – 9.30pm Ballinamore Community Centre, Ballinamore
Tuesday 10th May
8pm – 9.30pm Kinlough Community Centre, Kinlough
Wednesday 11th May
8pm – 9.30pm The Depot, Dromahair
Thursday 12th May
8pm – 9.30pm Bee Park Community Centre, Manorhamilton
Tuesday 17th May
8pm – 9.30pm Canon Donohoe Hall, Mohill
Sligo Sports and Recreation Partnership are kicking off their new ‘Gym Up’ programme for the winter promoting positive health and wellbeing. See flyer below for details
Recently the team at Rennafix ran an uplifting and inspiring Instagram competition to help promote positive mental health. The theme of the competition was to capture moments engaging in activities that release endorphins. Although exercise is known as an effective way of releasing these ‘happy hormones’, eating the right foods and making connections socially can also boost your endorphins, liven your mood and release stress.
Participants were encouraged to get outdoors, socialise and/or eat well, then take a quick picture and post to their Instagram account with the appropriate hash-tag;
Why #Eatingwell? The concept is that diet does not mean restriction, diet is simply ‘what’ you eat, not ‘how much’ you eat. For example, notice how your eyes widen at the sight of fresh fruit and vegetables, even the sight of coloured healthy food stimulates your senses and initiates the release of endorphins. Alternatively, in times of stress, warm wholesome meals become a nourishing comfort food, relaxing endorphins massage their way into your stress centers, releasing tensions and anxiety.
Why #Socialising? Making connections and creating support helps us to re-connect with each other and find reasons to laugh. It’s an everyday, immediate way to give yourself an endorphin rush. The act of laughing with friends stimulates the production of endorphins and helps you feel good instantly. Laughter helps to relieve stress and has many other physical and emotional benefits.
Why #Gettingoutdoors? Well it’s simple, which of these situations sounds more appealing to you: taking a walk outdoors or strolling through the office? Being outside can actually offer relief for everything from basic negativity to depression. Studies from various universities have shown similar results in that people who walked, biked, or ran in nature had a lower risk of poor mental health than people who worked-out indoors. Interaction with nature gives your brain a break from everyday over-stimulation, it can have a restorative effect and can even improve your ability to focus. Doing any kind of exercise releases endorphines but there is a special kind of magic in trying something that is NEW to you. Whether it is skipping or sky-diving, it might just be time for you to dip your toe into the great outdoors.
The competition closed Sept 13th and 3 lucky winners were chosen by a judging panel of three of Sligo’s most successful professional photographers, Ciaran McHugh, Suzie McCanny and Colin Gillen. The combined value of all prizes was over €1000 with the winner of the #Eatingwell category receiving a hamper of delicious and healthy foods from Shells Cafe and vouchers from Mammy Johnston’s, Knox, The Sweet Beat, Kate’s Kitchen and Cafe Fleur. The winner of #socialising category received a selection of vouchers from Fifth on Teeling, the Hawkswell Theatre and The Model Sligo along with year long access to all Spike Comedy and Rennafix events in 2016. The #Gettingoutdoors category winner received another superb selection of vouchers from Call of the Wild and some of Sligo’s top activity providers, North West Adventure Tours, iSurf Ireland, SUPforAll and Island View Riding Stables.
Rennafix continues to support positive mental health initiatives in our community. Privately they provide activity vouchers to individuals in therapy, the number of individuals availing of the service in 2015 has increased 3-fold since 2014. This means more people in therapy are using activities to compliment their recovery.
Feedback from therapists: ‘One woman has told me that she is so grateful for the gym vouchers, she’s said that going to the gym has helped her to feel better about herself, she came in specifically to say thank you – she visibly looked brighter and happier.’
‘Another woman has said that the help she has received has improved not only her mental but also her physical health. As a result of this she has been able to work on and secure a project that she had to put on hold for years.’
But we all have our part to play in promoting positive mental health and seeing people stepping up and stepping out encourages all of us to keep going. Rennafix encourages Instagram users to continue embracing life in which ever way feels right to you and where you can please do share those feel good moments with us @rennafixgroup. [#havinalaugh #Eatingwell #socialising #gettingoutdoors & #positivesligo]
This Instagram project was funded by Sligo Leader Partnership Company, another great support in our community. If you would like to support Rennafix simply come out to their next event and have a good time, or to donate visit www.havinalaugh.ie.
Aware Sligo are currently recruiting volunteer facilitators. Aware is a national charity, that undertakes to create a society, where people affected by stress, depression, Bi-polar and other mood disorders are understood , supported, free from stigma and are encouraged to access appropriate therapies. For information on volunteer role click here