06 Oct 2022

Rory's Stories coming to Laois for mental health month Laois Connects

Rory's Stories coming to Laois for mental health month Laois Connects

Rory O'Connor, AKA Rory's Stories, is coming to Laois this October as part of an extended countywide programme promoting positive mental health.

Laois Connects normally runs over one week a year, but with the tough two past years it has been, and its impact on everyone's mental health, the organisers have extended it to last for the full month of October. 

While a finalised events list is yet to be announced, an initial line-up has just been announced. 

The Laois Public Participation Network has secured Rory O’Connor, AKA Rory’s Stories. Rory is vocal about positive mental health and will deliver a talk in Abbeyleix Manor Hotel. Tai Chi Yoga classes are being offered by Laois County Council’s Sport and Leisure Department. 

These classes will be delivered at various locations throughout the county. The popular Social Farming makes its return thanks to the Healthy Ireland Programme. 

There will be many events, talks and workshops delivered throughout the month that will contribute to positive mental health.

The Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council, Cllr Conor Bergin had the following message for the people of Laois.

“Laois Connects will be more important this year than ever and I welcome the initiative being extended from one week to the whole month of October. Particularly throughout the last year with the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to promote positive mental health within our community now more than ever, particularly in more rural and isolated communities. I would encourage everyone in Laois to talk with their family, friends and neighbours about this very important issue on a regular basis – and anyone who feels that they might need help to please reach out and talk to someone. Help is never too far away,” he said.

Josephine Rigney is the Suicide Prevention Officer with the HSE and a member of the Laois Connects Organisation Committee.

“This year, more than ever, it is important that we take the time to connect with ourselves and focus on what is within our control.   Laois Connects is a timely reminder to us that there are activities that we can all do to mind our emotional and mental health, whether this is keeping active, looking after our physical health, staying in touch with others and having a chat if we need to talk about something or just doing something that we enjoy and get meaning from.   These are challenging times but we all have the resilience to empower and sustain ourselves over the coming months and the knowledge that there are services to support us if we need to link in with them.” 

Further details regarding dates, times, locations of all events will be issued soon. 

Laois Connects organising committee represent Laois County Council, Laois Sports Partnership, Laois PPN, HSE, Laois Partnership Company, Mental Health Ireland, Mountmellick Youth and Family Resource Centre, SHINE, Mountmellick Community School, Music Generation Laois, LOETB, Healthy Ireland, Dunamaise Arts Centre, GROW” #laoisconnects

Above: David Murphy, Laois Connects Co-ordinator, Julie Scully, Healthy Ireland Co-ordinator Laois, Finola Colgan, Mental Health Ireland, Ann Marie Maher, Sport and Leisure LCC, Dan Bergin, Laois PPN, Ann Marie Kirrane, Community Section, Bernie Foran, Laois Library. Seated front: Cllr Conor Bergin, Laois County Council Cathaoirleach.

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