Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Tuesday 26 September 2017

‘The longer you keep it bottled up the worse it’s going to get’

Ireland and Leinster front-row Jack McGrath who speaks emotively about how he coped with the death of his brother by suicide in 2010.
Ireland and Leinster front-row Jack McGrath who speaks emotively about how he coped with the death of his brother by suicide in 2010.

Irish rugby star Jack McGrath said dealing with his brother’s suicide was incredibly tough.

“I always felt that keeping my emotions in was the way to deal with it. When you have this knot in your stomach, you’re struggling to get up in the morning…eventually you start  talking and it’s nearly like a gas valve releasing.”

He said it was very tough as the two were very close. “The longer you keep it bottled up the worse it’s going to get.” And he encourages others to talk about their problems. “ The smallest thing you say to someone can make a difference.”

Research conducted by IRUPA demonstrated that although 95% of Irish adults think it's important for them to be proactive in taking care of their mental wellbeing, almost 1 in 4 (22%) are unaware or have low levels of awareness of the ways they deal with stress or life challenges.

The campaign to promote positive mental wellbeing in Ireland through “Tackle Your Feelings”, in partnership with Zurich, national and international rugby stars telling their own personal story of the issues they have faced off the pitch.

Tackle Your Feelings seeks to emphasise the importance of preventative measures in maintaining good mental wellbeing.

By asking people to be honest with themselves about how they are feeling and to take appropriate action, the campaign aims to encourage people to resolve emotional challenges before they escalate into a crisis.

The campaign website, www.tackleyourfeelings.com, hosts a number of practical resources to help people develop their emotional self-awareness and proactively work on their mental and emotional wellbeing.

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Omar Hassanein, CEO, IRUPA said, "Our campaign is intended to be disruptive in challenging people to tackle their feelings on a daily basis. Professional rugby players are seen as strong, robust and are known for how they protect and manage their physical health but rugby, like everything in life, requires both physical and mental strength.

“We want to show people that vulnerability doesn't need to be considered a weakness. We hope that Ireland’s rugby players, through the Tackle Your Feelings campaign, can play a role in encouraging people in Ireland to be more proactive and comfortable in looking after their mental wellbeing given it is such a key component in the health of an individual.”

Dr Eddie Murphy, Clinical Psychologist and Tackle Your Feelings advisor said: "Tackle Your Feelings is a really important campaign as it challenges us to consider how we are feeling on a daily basis so as to prevent a more serious mental health issue from developing. Just like physical fitness, mental fitness can also be enhanced through practical training.”

Elaine Hayes, ‎Corporate Responsibility spokesperson at Zurich, commented:  "Zurich prides itself on a commitment to making a difference in the local communities in which we operate, and we are delighted to be partnering with IRUPA, with the support of the Zurich Foundation, to encourage greater debate and awareness of mental wellbeing in Ireland. As an issue which affects such a large proportion of Irish people, mental health is something that needs to be discussed more openly and honestly; be it on the pitch, in the office, or in general day to day life.”

Visit www.tackleyourfeelings.com

Zurich Insurance plc is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Online Editors