Sunday 18 March 2018

Stop the silence, start the talking

Paul Flynn, a tireless campaigner for positive mental health, will speak at a special event in Rolestown next Monday.
Paul Flynn, a tireless campaigner for positive mental health, will speak at a special event in Rolestown next Monday.

John Manning

DUBLIN and Fingallians supremo, Paul Flynn has become a tireless campaign on the issues of positive mental health and suicide prevention and he is among the guest speakers at an event in Rolestown this month called 'Mental Health: Stop the Silence, Start the Talking'.

The event is being hosted by community mental health nurse and sports coach, Adrian Henchy, who is also a candidate for Fine Gael in the upcoming local elections in the Swords ward, and will include a number of guest speakers, including the All-Ireland winning Swords man, Paul Flynn.

Mr. Henchy believes that mental health is now 'the single most important issue for our community today'.

He said: 'I strongly encourage all local secondary schools, youth organisations, sports clubs and anyone with an interest in mental health and well-being to attend this event.

'We need to let people know that it is OK to talk about not being OK and that it is OK to ask for support from those around us when we need it.

'That's what a community is there for. People also need to recognise the vital role sport can play in achieving positive mental well-being.'

The World Health Organisation predicts that depression will become the number one health killer in the world in the coming years and in Ireland, it is already one of the highest killers, particularly for young people.

Mr Henchy said: 'Ireland has the highest rate of suicides in young females and the second highest among young men so it is not just young men that are vulnerable.

'With over 60,000 people admitted to A&E with self-harming injuries each year, the majority of which are female, the statistics clearly dispel the myth that females in general are more effective in sharing and discussing their emotional issues. So, what are we doing about it?'

The event, organised by Mr. Henchy and a local community group in the Fingal area is aimed at young and old and will involve a number of well-known guest speakers including Paul Flynn, Joey Boland and Fiona Coughlan.

They will be speaking about aspects of mental health relating to both their personal and sporting lives with a particular emphasis on the role of sport and recreational activities in developing one's physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing.

Mr. Henchy concluded: 'As a society, we are not doing enough to highlight and champion mental health and well-being and with our under-resourced health services struggling to cope with the demand, we need to pull together as a community to get this out in the open and start addressing it from the ground up.'

'Mental Health: Stop the Silence, Start the Talking' will take place at Kettles Country House Hotel in Rolestown on Monday, April 14, at 7 p.m.

Fingal Independent