“Community Resilience: My Mind Matters”

A recent seminar held at the Devon Hotel and sponsored by the ESB

People began arriving from 7pm to look around the 50 exhibits which included local and regional supports from Dublin, north Kerry, Limerick city and county. The evening began with the organisers Elizabeth Cullinane of the Abbeyfeale and District Initiative and Mary Danaher Limerick Social Services Council lighting a candle giving the 300 plus people a chance to relax and reflect the hope in the room. The evening was chaired by Dermot Troy, Communications Officer with Limerick Youth Service who noted that we can all help our friends, family and neighbours in our communities by sharing our new found wisdom after the night’s enlightenment. The excellent speakers were; Dr. Kieran Murphy local Athea GP, who delivered a wonderful slide show about the ‘Iceberg of Depression’ signs and symptoms along with varying types of depression including effective lifestyle changes to promote wellness which was very informative. Former Munster and Ireland rugby player Alan Quinlan then spoke about his ‘Life’s Journey’ through his own depression sharing that he went to see a psychologist and took prescribed medication for a time after he lost out on the Lions tour and is aware that he needs to mind his wellbeing as Dr. Kieran Murphy described. Alan spoke about being thankful for his ‘Journey’ as he has learnt to share his thoughts and feelings with his family as his personality growing up was to keep things in and as a rugby player his image was about being strong. Alan is involved with the Lean on Me Campaign and AWARE, as a consequence regularly speaks at schools and public events so he can raise positive awareness of mental health especially for young men. The last speaker National Programme co-co-ordinator with GROW Christine Fitzgerald and she spoke with immense passion about ‘Community Support’ offered in Ireland when main organisations are closed and how GROW offers an out of hours service with professional help and peer support for all participants. She also spoke about her own battle with depression 25 years ago and that she came from a big supportive family but still had felt so alone. Dermot Troy closed the seminar by stating how it was lovely seeing young people in the audience and hoped everyone gained something from the night and how we should really ask people are they OK so we can offer help to one another in our communities. There was a questions and answers session after that and tea and coffee was served allowing attendees to once again look around and talk to the 50 exhibitors along with photo opportunities and signing.