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S’porting Your Wellbeing: Mental health and wellbeing during the Covid-19 outbreak

Pick up your copy in this week's Leinster Express!

Greg Mulhall

Reporter:

Greg Mulhall

Email:

greg.mulhall@leinsterexpress.ie

S’porting Your Wellbeing: Mental health and wellbeing during the Covid-19 outbreak

The onset of Covid-19 has left many people responsibly adhering to the #stayathome requirement, all in the absolute best interest of health and safety. These necessary restrictions have impacted on people’s health and sense of wellbeing. People are now focussing on their physical and mental health. 

Maintaining our mental health before or after the Covid-19 period of our lives has been and will continue to be relevant and important, but perhaps even more so right now in trying to achieve a balance in life as we know it today. 

Taking the right steps for our health and wellbeing over the next number of weeks will strengthen our coping skills to continue with the necessary adaptation to living at home. Incorporating good self-care strategies will make the transition to a life away from restrictions so much easier.  They will assist us to build enhance and boost our resilience going forward. 

Initial results from a very recent Irish Covid-19 Psychological Survey, suggest that mental health problems are common; 41% of people reported feeling lonely, 23% reported clinically meaningful levels of depression, 20% reported clinically meaningful levels of anxiety, and 18% reported clinically meaningful levels of post-traumatic stress.  It is against this backdrop that Laois Sports Partnership (LSP) and Mental Health Ireland (MHI) have co-produced “S’porting Your Wellbeing”.

In launching the publication online www.laoissportspartnership and www.mentalhealthirealand.ie, Caroline Myers, Head of LSP, stated that “we are all familiar about the importance of a healthy mind in a healthy body. Research indicates, and it has been our experience in LSP that modest amount of exercise can make a difference no matter a person’s age or fitness levels.”

Exercise, Caroline said is a powerful tool to feel better, and given our current circumstances with Covid-19 building an exercise routine into our daily lives can and will enhance our wellbeing. 

“S’porting Your Wellbeing has placed emphasis on the benefits of exercise, no matter how little and to encourage and support people to engage with the benefits of physical activity. In doing there is the added benefit of boosting mental health and wellbeing.”

LSP and MHI have worked consistently together to promote the relationship between physical activity and mental health with local Sporting Organisations Statutory Voluntary and Business agencies.

It made practical and perfect sense for both organisations to come together in these tough times to offer guidance and support to people, community and voluntary organisations that have been so supportive to this partnership down through the years. 

Finola Colgan Mental Health Ireland stated that “it is quite ironic that although Covid-19 is a physical health issue, it has created a greater awareness about mental health. 

“People are more concerned about their mental health due to the significant emphasises, awareness raising and substantial positive messages about mental health in recent weeks led by my organisation Mental Health Ireland and others, to support people to deal with the stress and anxiety associated with Covid-19. 

“People now have a have a better insight about mental health. There is less stigma associated with it as people have become aware how fragile their mental health maybe right now. I believe this is because #WeAreAllInThisTogether. Mental health is for everybody, across the age spans from the young to our more senior citizen. 

“This is why Caroline and I believe it is important to reach out and encourage people to follow the Five Ways to Wellbeing as set out in ‘S’porting Your Wellbeing’ and to engage with the suggested programme of activities to enhance both physical and mental health. It is in keeping with the adage 'no health without mental health'.”  

The Five Ways outlined in the publication are Connect, Be active, Take notice Keep learning and Give are collectively an evidenced based self-care strategy. This publication provides many ideas, suggestions, and activities for all age groups to enhance individual and family wellbeing.

The publication has been produced in the new era of working from home and communicating through well-known online meeting platforms and emails! The publication is free to download from www.laoissports.ie/about-us/ publications/ and www.mentalhealthirealand.ie, and is also included in this week’s Leinster Express.