Sport can play major role in health and wellbeing
'LET'S Talk Mental Health and Sport' was the theme at the recent mental health awareness evening at Kettles Hotel, Rolestown with over 120 people attending what turned out to be a hugely successful event, hosted by well-known RTE presenter, Darragh Moloney.
The event, organised by Adrian Henchy, a community mental health nurse, active community volunteer, sports coach and a candidate for the upcoming local elections in the Swords ward for Fine Gael.
Mr Henchy said: 'Make no mistake, mental health is the single biggest issue for our community today. It was important to find a way to get this topic out in the open and also to help people understand the role sport can play in achieving good mental and physical well-being.'
'We had a fantastic panel of speakers on the night with Rugby analyst Brent Pope, All-star Dublin Footballer Paul Flynn, Dublin Hurler Joey Boland, Grand slam Rugby winning Captain Fiona Coughlan and Irish Hockey International Lisa Jacob.
'It was a privilege to hear each speaker talk candidly about Mental Health, their own experiences and the role of sport in developing one's physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing.'
During a lively Q&A session, Brent Pope reinforced the message that 'young people should be strongly encouraged to engage in sports, the valuable benefits can be tenfold in terms of healthy emotional and physical wellbeing'.
Adrian closed the event by reminding everybody: 'This mental health event is only the start of a much longer conversation. There is a lot more to be discussed and we need to keep talking about mental health until everybody knows that it is ok to talk about mental health.'
There was certainly plenty appetite from the audience and the speakers to keep the conversation going with Guest speaker Paul Flynn hopeful that people 'would continue the conversation until talking about our mental health is the norm, not the exception'.