‘Sport Your Mind’ will look at role of sport

The HSE Midlands in partnership with Laois Sports Partnership and Mountmellick GAA Club have organised the delivery of a ‘Sport Your Mind’ programme on Monday, October6, at 7pm in Mountmellick GAA Club.

The HSE Midlands in partnership with Laois Sports Partnership and Mountmellick GAA Club have organised the delivery of a ‘Sport Your Mind’ programme on Monday, October6, at 7pm in Mountmellick GAA Club.

Alan O’Meara, the Cavan Footballer, will be the Guest Speaker on the night. Alan, who also works as Communications Officers for Spunout.ie, will speak about his own experience of depression and on the topic ‘It’s ok not to feel ok’.

The ‘Sport your Mind’ programme introduces basic, foundational information on Youth Mental Health, highlights the early warning signs of mental health difficulties among young people and the range of support services available to young people in need of additional support. It is suitable for community sports organisations and is aimed at coaches, mentors and players.

The Programme also includes the provision of Youth Support Cards, a Multi-Media Video Clip for young people advising key messages underpinning positive mental health and an ‘Improve Your Mood With Food’ Diet Sheet created by HSE Senior Community Dieticians.

“The Sport Your Mind Programme, which is delivered free of charge across the Midlands, increases an understanding of Positive Mental Health and helps people develop the capacity to give safeguarding support when difficulties may arise.

Many Sports Organisations like the GAA recognise the potential they have to offer this support and this is why the HSE welcome and support these organisations to build healthier, more resilient communities” Anthony O’Prey, Health Promotion Officer, OLDC and HSE Midlands.

John Paul Campion, Chairperson of Laois GAA Health and Well-Being Committee, will be encouraging all GAA Clubs within Laois to support the ‘Sport your Mind’ Programme and also to give consideration to hosting the delivery of a SafeTALK (Suicide Alertness for Everyone) Programme.

This is an internationally recognised workshop that prepares participants to identify people who may be having thoughts of suicide and to be in a position to connect them to other appropriate supports and resources.

Josephine Rigney, A/Suicide Prevention Resource Officer said. “Targeted skills based intervention combined with raising awareness and providing information is fundamental to the delivery of suicide prevention and positive mental health initiatives.

The HSE Midlands are focusing on harnessing and increasing the capacity of the community to respond in times of crisis and being in a position to signpost and direct to the appropriate supports and services.

“Skills based programmes such as SafeTalk and ASIST can be provided by the HSE to parents, coaches and volunteers and these programmes are designed to enable individuals to recognise when a person may be thinking about suicide and are displaying signs of their pain and distress,” she added.

For further information to attend the Sport Your Mind Programme on October 6 in Mountmellick, contact John Nelson 087 327 5527, Mountmellick GAA, or Anthony O’Prey, 087 178 5685 HSE.

Camross GAA Club will also host a ‘Sport Your Mind’ Programme on Monday 13th October. For enquiries/attendance, please contact Paul Nolan: 087-6539101 or Ronan Devaney: 086 046 1186.