Huge line up of free Laois Connects events brings mental health to the fore

Michelle Hogan


Michelle Hogan

Huge line up of free Laois Connects events brings mental health to the fore

Pictured at the Laois Connects Programme launch in County Hall

Laois Connects 2019 incorporates a week of interesting events across the county that strive to change the way people think about and respond to mental health in families, communities and places of work to reduce stigma so that people can feel at ease when their mental health and wellbeing is challenged.

Laois Connects 2019 is about providing people with the opportunity to talk, listen, and learn about mental health. There is a huge lineup of events for all ages and they are all free to attend. From walking groups to once-off educational workshops for young and old there will be something for everyone as part of the Laois Connects programme.

Walks will take place across the county starting on Sunday, September 29 with the three counties Barrow Way Walk which has three options an 18 km, 10 km and 6km on the day.

Other walks include Cullohill walking group, Mountmellick Walking Group, Mountrath Ramblers walking group, Port Trail Walking Group, Portlaoise Stepping out walkers group, Swan Walker's group and Rossmore Forrest Walk. These groups have events on throughout the week.

The Stradbally, Vicarstown, Timahoe (SVT) Activity and Wellness hub will host a be active night at the grand canal in Vicarstown at 4 pm on Saturday, September 28.

This will include Riverdance along the canal, family fun with bouncing castle, canoeing, kayaking, rounders for all ages and more.

There will be a Tai Chi session in Mountmellick park from 1 pm to 2 pm on Tuesday, October 8. This is a gentle workout embracing body, mind and spirit.

Mindful colouring will take place at Abbeyleix Library from 11 am to 12 pm on Tuesday, October 8.

Laois Comhairle na nÓg and Foroige will host a unique self and body image workshop from 6 pm to 8 pm to promote positive body image and self-confidence among young people of Laois. Open to 12 to 18-year-olds on Tuesday, October 8.

A film screening and panel discussion about ways to wellbeing will take place at the Dunamaise Arts Centre at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, October 9 with CEO of Mental Health Ireland Martin Rogan. A viewing of three films commissioned by the charity and discussion with people who have lived experience of mental health difficulties.
‘Redemption’ an evening with boxer Eric Donovan will take place at Barrowhouse GAA club at 7:30 pm on Thursday, October 10.

A two-hour workshop aimed at parents of teens to enable them to identify activities and practices that will support their own wellbeing and help them to sustain positive self-care in the long term will be held in Portarlington as part of Laois Connects.
It will take place on Thursday, October 10 at the Port Project Unit from 7 pm to 9 pm. Prior booking is essential.

The therapeutic benefit of at by Aisling Brennan will take place at Mountrath Library on Thursday, October 10 from 6:15 pm to 7:15 pm organised by Mental Health Ireland and Laois Sports Partnership.

An energetic bikeathon for Cycle Against Suicide will get things moving at Laois Shopping Centre from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm on Friday, October 11.

Cycle Against Suicide is a national awareness charity that strives to break down the barriers around mental health illness and works to increase awareness of the supports and treatments that are available to help those affected.

The event is organised in association with Mountmellick Community School and Laois County Council.

Continue the activity with the Vicarstown free family-friendly 5 km park run on Saturday, October 12 from 9:30 am.

On the same morning in Mountrath Amenity Area from 11 am there will be an autumn morning restorative yoga session specially formulated for young people aged 12 - 19 years.

The session will be followed by a delicious lunch from locally sourced ingredients.

See the full brochure of events here or pick up a physical copy of the brochure in your local library or some shops.

All times, dates and booking information is on the brochure.

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