Mental health matters in Laois

MENTAL Health Ireland in conjunction with Laois Partnership, recently ran two one-day work shops for community leaders and community workers in Portlaoise. The aim of these workshops was to train community activists to impart knowledge to community groups on mental health related issues.

MENTAL Health Ireland in conjunction with Laois Partnership, recently ran two one-day work shops for community leaders and community workers in Portlaoise. The aim of these workshops was to train community activists to impart knowledge to community groups on mental health related issues.

The workshops covered ‘Mental Health Matters’ which is a training for trainers mental health awareness programme. It seeks to empower participants to understand the clear link between mental and physical health and to promote positive mental health in their own local community.

Community groups from all over Laois were represented at the training and Laois Partnership will continue to support these groups under the local and community development programme. Development Officers with Mental Health Ireland Finola Colgan and Linda Thorpe jointly delivered the training, which was held in the Respond Social Housing Community Centre in Portlaoise.

Finola Colgan said: “There is an emphasis within the programme on coping strategies for positive mental health. It is important for people to realise that it is quite normal to have down moments and to experience stress and depression from time to time in the same way a person might get a bad dose of flu. It is nothing to hide away from. Indeed, the sooner a person takes control of the situation they will feel better. There is a significant amount of help available, and the Mental Health Matters programme is an educational awareness programme that can benefit the community on an everyday basis”.

Mr Brian Howard CEO of Mental Health Ireland and Catherine Cowap Social Inclusion Manger Laois Partnership jointly presented certificates of participation to the forty-five participants and provided them with a resource pack for the benefit of their community groups.

Due to the overwhelming response to the workshops a further training day will take place in Portlaoise on Tuesday September 18. The training is free of charge. Those interested should contact Storm Powell, Laois Partnership Company at stormpowell@laoispartnership.ie or 057 86 62732 or 087 1775 729. Visit www.laoispartnership.ie or www.mentalhealthireland.ie for more information.