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Sunday 11 December 2016

Shining a light on mental health

Martin Grant

Published 26/08/2016 | 02:30

Brent Pope, Sallyanne Clarke and Gerry Hussey at the launch of the first ever 'Mental Health and Wellbeing Summit' in Ireland Photo: Paul Sherwood
Brent Pope, Sallyanne Clarke and Gerry Hussey at the launch of the first ever 'Mental Health and Wellbeing Summit' in Ireland Photo: Paul Sherwood

A major summit will shine a light on mental health issues this October.

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Organised by White Diamond Events, the 'Mental Health and Wellbeing Summit' will take place during mental health awareness week on October 14 in the Aviva Stadium.

Several of the speakers attended its launch at l'Ecrivain Restaurant in Dublin, owned by Derry and Sallyanne Clarke, who tragically lost their son Andrew to suicide.

Rugby pundit Brent Pope, who will speak at the summit, also opened up about his own struggles.

"For so long in my life I was ashamed that I had this dirty little secret, that I had mental health problems," said Brent. "Behind closed doors I was a very nervous, anxious person. I was ashamed because I felt that I couldn't put it right. At times I couldn't handle the crippling fear that it had on me on all aspects of my life."

Brent said that his mental health struggles are not something that just goes away, but that seeking support does help.

He added: "I want young people especially to get help and have the strength to do that. People will care and love for you. I have to work on it every day."

Singer Niall Breslin will be among the contributors.

Organisers said there will be a focus on people who support those suffering from mental illness.

"All too often, this is overlooked - but that will not be the case at this summit as an entire workshop is being dedicated to family and friends," said spokeswoman Dearbhla Meaney.

"Never before have such a diverse group of people come together under one roof to discuss this hugely topical issue, which can only be a good sign for cohesion in the mental health sector."

Tickets from www.mentalhealthandwellbeingsummit.com.

Irish Independent

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