Mental health also needs a workout from time to time

Sport Your Mind Laois GAA stars John O'Loughlin, Laura Dunne, Cahir Healy and Tracey Lawlor Picture: Ger Rogers/HR Photo.
HSE Health Promotion in partnership with Laois Sports Partnership today, (Tuesday) officially launches ‘Sport Your Mind’ as part of Laois. Connects Mental Health week

HSE Health Promotion in partnership with Laois Sports Partnership today, (Tuesday) officially launches ‘Sport Your Mind’ as part of Laois. Connects Mental Health week

The launch by Leinster GAA Chairman Martin Skelly will take place at Portlaoise GAA club, Rathleague at 7.30pm.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Mr Skelly commented, Our players go out a couple of times a week, or more, to train and improve their physical ability to perform on the playing field. Today we want to send a clear message that mental health needs a work out from time to time.”

This is a Youth Mental Health Awareness Programme is designed to provide information and support to community active sports organisations. The programme is set out in three parts and includes a Youth Mental Health information evening for parents and coaches, a Positive Mental Health Talk for young people and coaches (14yrs+) and SafeTalk Training -Suicide alertness for parents and coaches. The programme captures the range and depth of services already available within the county of Laois, provides participants with the knowledge and confidence to access the services available and provides intervention skills training for recognising and acting when a person is in distress.

The pilot phase of the programme was delivered in Portlaoise GAA club to parents, coaches, mentors and young people.Twenty one adults and 16 young people participated in the programme with the majority finding a significant enhancement in their knowledge following the delivery of the programme with feedback including comments such as; ‘simple, effective for parents and mentors’ and ‘Very important to continue with this information’, ‘I think a must course for any coaches, parents involved with young people’.

O’Dempseys GAA Club, Killenard is the next venue for the delivery of the Sport Your Mind Programme. Workshops were held this week,, September 30 for players, coaches and parents, Following the roll out of Sport Your Mind in Laois the HSE intend to use the programme elsewhere in the midlands.

Sport Your Mind is being launched as part of Laois Mental Health Awareness Week ‘Laois Connects’ from September 28 to October 5.

For further information on Laois Connects you can visit,www.laoiscommunityforum.ie/laoisconnects