A host of celebrities mingled
Stars highlight mental health
A host of celebrities mingled with staff and students from Loreto College, Bray on Monday for Cycle Against Suicide.
The Loreto Bray was the first stop on the cyclists' route around the country and it coincided with the start of POP (Power of Positivity) week at the school.
Cycle Against Suicide is a nationwide event highlighting the issue of mental illness and is the brainchild of Irish entrepreneur, Jim Breen, as a result of his appearance on RTE's Secret Millionaire.
The main objective of the cycle is to raise awareness of the various help and supports that are available for anyone battling depression, self harm, at risk of suicide or those bereaved by suicide.
A number of the staff and students at Loreto Bray took part in the first leg of the cycle, from RTE to Bray.
At RTE celebrities such as Colm Hayes, Ryan Tubridy, Roz Purcell, Rosanna Davison, PJ Gallagher, The Heathers, Jason Sherlock and Brent Pope lent their support to the initiative.
Speaking at the event, Jim said: 3,500 of us are cycling some or all of the 1,400km over the next two weeks. However, it's been a much longer journey for many people to get to the starting line here today. We're all here with one goal - to cycle around Ireland - and Break the cycle of suicide!'
2FM Colm Hayes said: 'We've dealt with the issue of mental health so much on our show and what became apparent from our discussions is how much physical health and mental health go hand in hand. The Cycle Against Suicide really highlights this fact. We need to encourage people to talk about mental health openly.'
The first year students and TY students at Loreto Bray formed a guard of honour for the 300 cyclists that arrived in Bray where a student welcome committee and parents served lunch.
After a presentation in the school the cyclists set off for the next leg of the journey and in total 28 schools and colleges around the country will be visited by the Cycle Against Suicide cyclists highlighting local mental health services.