Laois CONNECTS mental health week is bigger than ever this year, with events around the county to encourage positive wellbeing.
The week kicks off with a 4k family walk in the beautiful autumn woods at Emo Court, with special guest Olympian Jessie Barr, Zumba warm ups and facepainting, at 10am this Saturday October 8, hosted by Laois Sports Partnership.
Indeed there are walks around Laois almost every day of the week, organised by local walking clubs.
Monday sees the launch of a new week-long Wellness Hub event at Laois Shopping Centre.
Events include a primary school art project “Inside Out”, Q&As and skills workshops by mental health professionals, a wellness cafe “salon” offering a cuppa and new ways to cope with life's stresses, as well as classes in Mindfulness, Yoga, Massage and Zumba Dance.
The Kathleen Gorman Memorial talk is in Heywood College, Ballinakill. Special guest Paul Gilligan, CEO of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, will speak on “Teenage Emotional Wellbeing; a right or an aspiration”.
The Amber Flag team from Mountmellick CS will be bussingtheir way around all post-primary Laois schools to encourage positive mental health promotion, delivering 'Survival Kits for Everyday Life” for students and staff.
Dunamaise Arts Centre will host “My Name is Emily” a free screening for schools.
Mount Henry Art Studio will run “The Art of Self Care” and, “Let’s Create” activities for children with autism, while Laois Arts Office hosts “A Toolbox for a Happy, Creative Mind” workshop with Artist and Filmmaker Lisa Fingleton.
Glosna House is on board again with workshops on acupuncture, energy healing and mindfulness meditation.
A host of sport events includes events for older adults, an “Overcoming Adversity through Sport” talk with guest Niall McNamee and “Coping with a Critical Incident” with guests Liam O’Neill and Colin Regan.
Other workshops are on “Valuing Volunteers”, and “Your Teenager’s Mental Health”
See pages 40 & 41 for more.