Not becoming isolated and being open about a mental health issue is one of the key ways of dealing with a problem according to a number of people who attended the launch of Laois Connects.
HSE Suicide Awareness Officer, Josephine Rigney, will run a Safetalk Awarness Talk during Laois Connects.
“By reaching out we are hopefully empowering people to engage with the services. There has traditionally been that divide between the services and people knowing about them but not connecting with them. We can actually reach out there will be two-way with connection with the services that are there,” she said.
She told the Leinster Express that mental health is an issue for all.
“We are all prone to having mental health problems but we can do something about it. We can learn to be the master of our own mental health,” she said.
Ms Rigneys said opening up is easier said than done but can make a huge difference.
“We need to talk we need to share a problem shared is a problem halved,” he said.
Portlaoise-based counsellor Mr Kevin Langan said it is important to be open.
“We all experience downtimes and it is important to stay connected with family and friends and stay in circulation. Isolation is the worst issue off all. The more people that are open about their own mental health it is amazing who other people will open up. It is good to see celebrities like Mary McEvoy being open,” he said.
Julie Sadlier of the Phoenix Project in Portlaoise said the week was hugely important. Her agency could provide pratical help people under strain over debts.
“What I am trying to do is give people the comfort that the legal guns are not going to come at them really hard. A lot of people think they are going are afraid they are going to arrive home some day to find their locks changed. I am trying to make sure that the they will be able to go to court to stop this happening,” she said.