Mental Health Ireland Vol. 15 No. 1
In this issue...
National Public Speaking Final 2007
‘Design a Cover’ Project
Mental Health Ireland Annual Conference 2007
We are now approaching summertime which I always field. It was intended to publish on abbreviation of Dr.
associate with the time immediately following Mental Ferrall’s paper in Mensana News but on reflection
Health Ireland’s Annual Conference. This year early decided that such a short version would not do justice
summer has been marked by attempts by the main to the quality of its contents. As promised at the Annual
political parties contesting the recent General Election Conference, the entire presentation will be posted on
to form a new Government. Mental Health Ireland awaits our website – www.mentalhealthireland.ie – and for
with expectation the impact Ms. Mary Harney’s re- those who wish to receive a hard copy of the
appointment as Minister for Health and Children will presentation, copies will be available through contacting
have on acceleration in developments in mental health Mensana House.
services. While most of you will be sick and tired of
hearing the words ‘political manifesto’, Mental Health Great work is, as always, being undertaken at local level
Ireland did enter the fray by publishing its own election by our volunteers. Notable events in the recent past
manifesto which was delivered to all the main political include an extremely well attended day seminar
parties before the general election. Mental Health organised by Dundalk Mental Health Association entitled
Ireland’s manifesto highlighted areas where our national ‘Voice of Service Users and Carers in a Modern Mental
organisation wished to see priority developments in Health Service.’ An attentive audience of well in excess
service provision. All political parties responded to our of 200 people attended this day and seminar on the
manifesto with varying degrees of support and 11th of May 2007 and all volunteers associated with its
acknowledgement. It remains to be seen however, organisation are to be admired and congratulated. The
whether the incoming Government and in particular very recent formation of Ballaghadereen Mental Health
whether Ms. Mary Harney, as Minister for Health and Association comprising active volunteers in the
Children will respond to the very real and immediate Ballaghadereen and surrounding area is very much
needs to improve mental health services in so many welcomed and will provide a very valuable resource for
areas. mental health promotion and advocacy on behalf of
persons who suffer from mental health difficulties in the
Those of you who attended the Annual Conference of North West Roscommon area. Also, the great work
Mental Health Ireland in the Brehon Hotel, Killarney undertaken in Ballinasloe, Galway which is featured in
will, I am sure, agree that it was one of the most this edition of Mensana News relating to the overseas
successfully organised Annual Conferences in recent exchange of persons availing of mental health services
years. So many factors influenced the success of our which promotes social inclusion is especially noteworthy.
Annual Conference including the professional approach
adopted by the Organising Committee, the fine facility Finally, an event which is scheduled to take place on the
provided by the Brehon Hotel with an equally 6th of October next to mark World Mental Health Day
professional team of staff together with an excellent and will be the organisation of an Information Day on
varied selection of speakers and workshop themes. This suicide exclusively for volunteers of local Mental Health
year we were fortunate to have quality presentations led Associations in the Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone, Co.
by our key speakers, both on Friday night, Saturday Westmeath. Details of this important seminar are set out
morning and Sunday morning. Led eloquently by Mr. on page 12.
Sean Kelly on Friday night, the content and breadth of
information provided by our speakers greatly impressed
our audience, none more so than Dr. Fergus O’Ferrall
whose presentation titled ‘Active Citizenship and Mental Brian Howard
Health: Opportunities and Challenges’ touched on several Chief Executive Officer – Mental Health Ireland
areas of interest to those working in the mental health
Vergemount & District MHA
Vergemount & District MHA officially opened their
organic garden on May 14th 2007. The project was
planned by Vergemount & District MHA using a National
Lottery grant with the inspiration of committee member
Margaret Pyne. The vision was realised by staff and
clients of Vergemount Day Centre who through their hard
work, ‘green fingers' and dedicated focus have produced
a fine organic garden and a front garden to relax in. The
garden was opened by Eileeen Delaney and the organic
garden by Pat O'Neill. Thanks are due to Martin Harford,
CNM II of Vergemount Day Centre who played an
Opening of organic garden.
important role coordinating the project.
Supporting Positive Mental Health in Dublin 12 for 21 Years
Crumlin & District Mental Health Association who have now gone to their heavenly reward. The
celebrated its 21st Birthday on Wednesday 2nd May volunteers with the support of the local mental health
2007, having being founded in 1986. The association is service staff have worked hard over the years to fulfill
now in its 22nd year. their aims in supporting people and their families/carers
living with mental illness and also promoting positive
The Chairperson and mental health within the Dublin 12 community.
Volunteers along with the
members of the Fáilte Current
Isteach Social Club hosted activities
a party at St. Columba’s, include:
Armagh Road, Crumlin,
Dublin 12. A large group
of friends, some with long
A birthday cake for Crumlin & District past association attended
MHA presented by Chairman of Together Social
Crumlin & District MHA and MHI Club.
Board Member, Brendan Madden. Volunteers with Chairman of Crumlin & District MHA
and MHI Board Member, Brendan Madden.
The Chairman and Mental
Talks on Mental
Health Ireland Board Member Brendan Madden welcomed
Health Awareness for the local community in
all the guests and supervised the cutting of the cake. A
conjunction with the KWCD Area Partnership.
display stand provided memories of the numerous
projects the volunteers have being involved in over the Fundraising includes the Annual Church Gate Collection,
years. Current projects and many happy social events Table Quiz and Dublin City Women’s Mini Marathon.
were also recorded.
School Based Projects at local level include the a very
Guests were also present from Mental Health Ireland, successful Essay Project for 5th Class Primary Schools
including Helen McGrath, Deputy CEO, Michael Cummins, which is held each year and co-coordinated by the
Development Officer and founding member of Crumlin & secretary Judy Somers.
District MHA, KWCD Area Partnership and the Pinel
Project. The Association holds a monthly meeting on the first
Wednesday of the month at 6.00pm. Information can be
The Association has been one of the most active local received from the secretary Judy Somers, Phone: 01
Mental Health Associations thanks to the support and 4559547.
direction of a number of volunteers over the years, some
THE CHARITIES REGULATION BILL 2007
Mental Health Ireland welcomes the Government's • A central register of charities
approval of this Bill and its publication and urges the
incoming Government to enact the legislation as soon • The appointment of a charities appeals tribunal
• Modernising fundraising legislations (including the
The main features of the Bill include: introduction of a permit regime for direct debit
• Expansion of the definition of charity
• Implementing agreed codes of good practice for
• An acceptance that charities can engage in advocacy fundraising
in pursuit of their charitable purpose
• Proportionate reporting - varying reporting and audit
• The establishment of a charity regulatory authority requirements depending on whether a charity is
which will operate as both regulator and supporter above or below income / expenditure of 100,000
DEVELOPMENT OFFICER CHANGE
George Brogan, Development Officer for the North Dublin area, departed Mental Health Ireland in May 2007.
George has returned to his roots to continue work in community Mental Health. George continues to volunteer for
Mental Health Ireland and has offered his skills to the Befriending Project in North Dublin. Mental Health Ireland
thank George for all his hard work during his time with the organisation.
It is hoped to have a replacement in situ by the end of the summer.
FAREWELL TO JACINTA
Jacinta Hastings, Senior Executive Officer, departed Mental Health Ireland in
early May to take up her new post as Chief Executive Officer with Bodywhys - The
Eating Disorders Association of Ireland. In her 18 years with Mental Health
Ireland, Jacinta played a pivitol role in the development and running of the hugely
successful mental health promotion projects, the National Public Speaking project,
Mental Health Matters resource pack and the ‘Design a Cover’ project, all of which
are currently running in second level schools across the country.
Jacinta had a particular interest in the area of social inclusion and participated in
Mental Health Europe’s recent social inclusion project, representing Mental Health
While we were all sad to see Jacinta go, we will be bumping into her on a regular
basis as she is still part of the voluntary and community sector!
BALLAGHADERREEN MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION LAUNCH
Mental Health Ireland, launched a new Mental Health
Association in Ballaghaderreen. The launch took place
on Thursday 7th June in Durkins Restaurant. Mr Brian
Howard, CEO of Mental Health Ireland addressed the
meeting and congratulated the local volunteers on their
achievement. The setting up of the Association in
Ballaghaderreen is coming at a very important time
with growing awareness of the need to address mental
health issues in the Ballaghaderreen area. With this in
mind the local MHA can get involved in activities that
may include seminars and public information days on Ballaghaderreen, Co.Roscommon MHA inaugural meeting in Durkins
mental health issues and may also seek to address areas Hotel. Back row: Paddy Callanan (Committee), Conor Ryan (Committee),
of concern relating to mental health with appropriate Colm Crowley (Sligo IT/CDP), Michael Scally (Committee), Jim McDonnell
(Vice Chairman), Margaret McCann (Committee), Michael Creaton
authorities in the County. (Chairman), Micheal Frain (Treasurer) and Brian Howard, CEO of MHI.
Sitting: Mamie Creaton (Committee), Patricia Madden (CDP/Secretary) and
Myra Walshe MHI Development Officer Roscommon/Mayo.
BAILIEBOROUGH MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION
The Bailieborough Mental Health Association hosted a
presentation of prizes of their East Cavan Essay Project
For Primary Schools 2007 in the Hotel Bailie, Bailieboro
on Wednesday, June 6. All 14 participating young
people received a certificate on the night. CEO Brian
Howard attended on the night and was delighted to see
such a big turn out for the presentation of prizes for
this successful competition.
Winners from each of the seven participating schools in East Cavan.
Back row: Sean McKiernan, Ciaran McKenna, Principal, St. Felim's The Vale.
Front row: Winston Turner, Eileen Tierney, the winner from St. Felim's and
the Overall Winner of the 2007 Competition and Brian Howard. Also Pictures of the highly commended group of young people (15 from the
featured is the wrought iron perpetual trophy, a sundial. 149 entries).
Very Best in the West
Since 1988 Ballinasloe has been twinned with
Challones-Sur-Loire, France. In 2003 the Ballinasloe
Twinning Committee invited a delegation to the
Ballinasloe October Horse Fair. During their visit Dr.
Francoise Bonnal who worked in the Mental Health
Service in France met with Mr. Ray Sweeney, Director of
Nursing and expressed an interest in formalising a closer
connection with St. Brigid’s Hospital and the East
Galway Mental Health Services; consequently the
European Mental Health Link Sub-committee was
established in 2004 with a view to hosting a group of
staff and clients from Chalonnes. The aim of the project
was to enable individuals who had experienced mental
health difficulties or any other form of disability
achieve meaningful integration and participation in
community life and exercise their fundamental human
rights. The European Mental Health Link Sub-committee
was formed to organise the first visit. This joint
committee of members from Ballinasloe Twinning
Committee and the East Galway Mental Health Services
consisted of Mr. Gerry Blake, Chairperson, Carol
Kavanagh, Secretary, Sean Tully, Martin Staunton,
Colette Murphy, Ballinasloe MHA, Mary Donoghue, Dr.
Margaret O’Grady, Tom Madden and Gerry Tully.
The French contingent of 18 mental health service users
and 5 health care professionals arrived in May 2005. For
eight days and nights they integrated and shared
knowledge, ideas and experiences as well as fun and
laughter. They visited a wide range of mental health
services from Athlone to Clifden and they were given a
flavour of the hospitality and culture of the West of
Ireland. Those who hosted the group went the extra
mile to make their stay in Ireland enjoyable and
memorable. Language difficulties were overcome with
the assistance of local teacher Carole Kavanagh and the
transition year students from Garbally College who acted
as translators for the duration of the trip.
Following the success of the visit to Ireland the
committee remained active, recruiting Kieran McMahon,
Philip O’Connor and Declan Gately in 2006 to begin the
process of arranging a return trip for the East Galway
Service to visit France. This trip took place from 19th to
26th April 2007. Nineteen East Galway mental health
service users visited the town of Chalonnes-Sur-Loire
and were accompanied by HSE West staff and
representatives from the Ballinasloe Town Twinning. In
September 2006 the Adult Education Centre (VEC)
provided French classes to service users. Certificates of
achievement were presented to all the service users in
Gullane’s Hotel, Ballinasloe on 26th March 2007 at the
launch of the trip to France. The service users felt a
Service Users and Staff from Challones-Sur-Loire and East Galway Mental
sense of identity and freedom as many had neither a Health Services.
passport nor had left Ireland before.
The French organising committee put in place an action
packed programme for the service users. An official
dinner and welcome was hosted by the Chalonnes Town
Council. The itinerary included a visit to vineyards and
museums, a tour of the hills of the Layon and a boat
trip on the Loire River. All enjoyed fine French cuisine
and picnics accompanied by music and more music. The
project facilitated the sharing of knowledge and ideas
through visiting a range of psychiatric services in
Chalonnes and Angers. Strong bonds were formed
between the two groups. Many of the service users and
service providers experienced a sense of sadness on the
departure of the group. One described the holiday as “a
Left to right: Dr. Margaret O'Grady, Consultant Psychiatrist, East Galway
trip of a lifetime”. It has been remarked that many Mental Health Services, Mayor of Challones-Sur-Loire and Counsellor Sean
service users have raised self-esteem and confidence Tully, Ballinasloe Twinning Commitee.
since returning and this has been consolidated by the
formation of a social club (Club Turas) which plan to
meet on a monthly basis.
Fundraising included a bag packing day in Tescos, three
no uniform days at the local schools and a pancake
morning at the Creagh Training Centre which helped
raise the profile of the project and educated the
community on Mental Health issues. Additional
sponsorship was secured from local businesses, public
and corporate enterprises and voluntary organisations
including the Mental Health Associations of Ballinasloe,
Mountbellew, Loughrea and Portumna. This partnership
approach is in keeping with the Primary Care – A new
direction (2001). The strategy proposes that primary Service Users and Staff from Challones-Sur-Loire and East Galway Mental
Health Services enjoying the view over the Layon Valley.
care be ‘an integrated, interdisciplinary, high quality,
Very Best in the West
team–based and user-friendly set of services for the
And the work hasn’t stopped. Photographs and
memories of the trip are now being assembled and the
intention is to showcase the success of the project for
World Mental Health Day in October 2007. It will also
feature at the Mental Health Ireland Annual Conference
in May 2008.
In conclusion, this venture has assisted in the
development of working in partnership with the local
council and facilitated a trans-cultural exchange of
Left to Right: Philip O'Connor, Instructor, Creagh Training Centre Ballinasloe
ideas and experiences. What began as a project in 2004
and Joe Daniels, Service User, East Galway Mental Health Services join has blossomed into an effective model for social
forces to entertain.
Left to right: Mr. Aidrian Ahearne, Manager of Galway Mental Health Services, Dr. Mary O'Grady, Mayor of Challones-Sur-Loire, Ms Collette Murphy, Clinical Nurse
Manager, East Galway Mental Health Services and Gerry Blake, Assistant Director of Nursing, East Galway Mental Health Services, attending a farewell drink in
the Mayors Office wearing their specially commissioned t-shirts.'
Volunteers Mark Year of Equal
Opportunities at Annual Conference
in The Brehon Hotel, Killarney
L to R: Brian Howard, CEO Mental Health Ireland, Tom Giblin, Chairman Mental Health Ireland, Sean Kelly, Former President of the GAA, Bernard Collins, Kerry
MHA, Dan O'Connor, DO Mental Health Ireland and Tom Leonard, Local Health Area Manager Kerry, HSE.
The Annual Conference of Mental Health Ireland, On Saturday, Dr Fergus O’Ferrall, Director of the Adelaide
celebrating the European Year of Equal Opportunities, Hospital Society addressed the Conference on the
took place at the Brehon Hotel, Killarney, Co Kerry, from Opportunities and Challenges presented to the Mental
Friday May 18th to Sunday May 20th. Health community by the new emphasis on Active
Citizenship, while Sean Love, Executive Director,
The Kerry Mental Health Association, hosted this year’s Amnesty International (Ireland) addressed delegates on
conference and, not surprisingly in the Kingdom, the The Right to Mental Health, including human rights
programme had a strong GAA/community input. Keynote aspects of the current situation in Ireland.
speaker was the former President of the GAA, Sean Kelly
and Kerry All-Ireland star Mike Frank Russell, was guest Principal speakers on Sunday morning were Dr Terry
of honour at the conference dinner. The former Kerry Lynch, a GP and Psychotherapist and author of the best-
star, Liam Hassett, who is a member of the Mental selling “Beyond Prozac”. Dr Lynch works exclusively in
Health Ireland Board and of Killorglin MHA, chaired a the field of mental health and was a member of the
workshop presented by the Stop ‘N’ Stare Theatre Group. Expert Group which produced the new mental health
policy “A Vision for Change”, explored Recovery in
Mental Health Ireland Annual Conference 2007
Action, and Leo Sheedy, Assistant Principal, Employment
and Training Strategy Unit, Department of Enterprise,
Trade & Employment spoke on the topic of Promoting
Equal Opportunities for People with Disabilities in the
Open Labour Market.
The Conference also included five workshops with an
emphasis on mental health issues and support activities
relevant to young people. The workshops explored the
Teen Text Support Initiative, supported by Kerry MHA,
‘The Gaf’ Drop-In Centre for Young People in Galway
City, and opportunities offered through Volunteering L to R: Brian Howard, CEO Mental Health Ireland, Tom Giblin, Chairman
Ireland for people to contribute more to their Mental Health Ireland, Ted Tierney, Wexford MHA, Joe Casey, MHI Board
member and Paddy McGowan, MHI Board Member.
communities. Bodywhys, the Eating Disorders
Association discussed this major health issue and there
was a truly moving performance by the Stop ‘N’ Stare
Theatre Group which is drawn from a number of
community organisations whose performances are
designed to break down barriers and focus on ability
rather than disability.
L to R: Brian Howard, CEO Mental Health Ireland, Susanna Friel, MHI
Development Officer, Packie Farren, Donegal MHI, Barbara Davis, MHI
Secretary to the Board, Eddie Shiels, Donegal MHA and Tom Giblin, Chairman
Mental Health Ireland.
L to R: Brian Howard, CEO Mental Health Ireland, Marie Devine, Bodywhys,
Elaine Bradley, Volunteering Ireland and Tom Giblin, Chairman Mental Health
L to R: Michael McGinn, MHI Development Officer and Patricia Manning,
L to R: Mike Frank Russell, Guest of Honour and Liam Hassett, MHI Board
L to R: Brid Woods, Dundalk MHA, Mary Murray, Dundalk MHA, Nuala Boyle,
L to R: Peadar Moulton, Wexford MHA, Anna Kavanagh, MHI Information Dundalk MHA, Dr Geraldine Lyster, MHI Board Member, and Lorcain Murphy,
Officer and Ted Tierney, Wexford MHA. Dundalk MHA.
L to R: Brian Howard, CEO Mental Health Ireland, Mike Frank
Russell, Guest of Honour, Tom Giblin, Chairman Mental Health
Ireland and Dan O'Connor, Development Manager Kerry MHA.
L to R: Standing: Winston Turner, Bailieborough MHA, Brendan Bird, Bailieborough MHA,
Dr Geraldine Lyster, MHI Board Member, Sean McKiernan, MHI Development Officer, Michael
McGinn, MHI Development Officer, Maria Cooney, Kells MHA, Betty Bird, Bailieborough MHA
and Patricia Manning, Kells MHA.
L to R: Michael Noble, MHI Development Officer, Margaret Kavanagh, Wicklow MHA,
Michaela Avlund, Wicklow MHA, and Charlie Burke, Wicklow MHA. L to R: Patsy O'Brien, MHI Development Officer and Margaret
O'Brien, Limerick MHA.
L to R: Brian Howard, CEO Mental Health Ireland, Fergus O'Ferrall, Director of Adelaide L to R: MHI Development Officers enjoying the Conference,
Hospital Society, Sean Love, Executive Director of Amnesty International and Dr Geraldine Susanna Friel, Geraldine Jolley, Finola Colgan, Patsy O’Brien and
Lyster, MHI Board Member. Anne Buckely
Next MHI Annual Conference 18th - 20th May 2008
Athone Town Centre Hotel, Athlone, Co. Westmeath
HEADLINE - THE NATIONAL MEDIA MONITORING PROGRAMME
The Headline website will serve as a useful tool for
Launch of journalists, and media and communications students
Headline offering information on mental health and suicide,
along with media guidelines both Irish and
Website international. It will also give helpful tips and examples
of negative reporting. Headline will also be sponsoring
awards for responsible and positive reporting through
the 2007 Smedia awards.
Headline, Ireland’s new national media monitoring
programme for mental health and suicide launched its
The website will act as a lobbying platform for the
website www.Headline.ie on Thursday, 19th April in the
general public to become involved in helping to monitor
National Concert Hall. The website was launched by
news stories relating to mental health and suicide. By
George Hook, Broadcaster and Carl O’Brien, Social
signing up to Headline media alerts people will have
Affairs Correspondent with the Irish Times. Headline has
positive and negative media coverage emailed directly
been established by the HSE’s National Office for Suicide
to them so they can decide how they feel about the
Prevention as part of Reach Out, the National Strategy
coverage. People will have the opportunity to post their
for Action on Suicide Prevention. Headline works to
opinions on the notice board on the site. The site will
promote greater awareness and understanding of mental
give people step by step instructions and letter
health and suicide by encouraging responsible and
templates on how to contact the media directly to have
accurate coverage within the Irish media. Headline is
their opinions on media coverage heard. The site will
managed by Schizophrenia Ireland and represents the
also allow people to contact Headline directly to inform
interests of the HSE’s press office, Aware, Bodywhys,
them about any media coverage or people can email
GROW, the Irish Advocacy Network, Mental Health
them at info@Headline.ie. People can sign up for news
highlights and have weekly emails with all the weeks
articles on mental health and suicide emailed to them.
Seminar on Suicide
Mental Health Ireland has recognised for some time is encountered. The seminar is being arranged primarily
that while everyone is aware of how serious the suicide for volunteers to be informed on ‘what to do’ as distinct
and attempted suicide problems are in Ireland today, from a seminar solely aimed at information gathering or
there appears to be a deficit of information at local the presentation of scientific research papers on the
Mental Health Association level on what individual causes of suicide and suicidal behaviour. The schedule of
volunteers can do or advise when instances of suicide or speakers and the subject matter to be presented is
suicidal behaviour occur in local communities. This currently being drafted and finalised. It is hoped that
information deficit exists in spite of the state providing each of the 96 local Mental Health Associations
resources towards initiatives aimed at reducing the affiliated to Mental Health Ireland will be in a position
occurrence of suicidal behaviour. to be represented at the seminar. A notice setting out
details of the Seminar will be forwarded to each local
Mental Health Ireland, for this reason, has arranged a Association shortly.
one day Information Seminar on Suicide at the Hodson
Bay Hotel, Athlone on 6th October 2007, aimed directly A booking form is available on the back page of this
at our individual volunteers to inform them on what issue of Mensana News. Places are limited so please
might be undertaken when suicide / suicidal behaviour return a completed form at your earliest convenience.
Mental Health in the Community
There was a public information evening held
on Tuesday 13th of March entitled ‘Mental
Health in the Community’ for the Belturbet and
West Cavan area. This was a joint project
between Mental Health Ireland and the Health
Service Executive. The event was held in the the
Ballyhugh Cultural Centre.
Pictured are the main speakers, from left to
right: Dr. Vincent Russell, Clinical Director,
Cavan Monaghan Mental Health Services, Dr. Ian
Maloney, Consultant Psychiatrist, West Cavan
area, Mr. Sean McKiernan, Assistant
Development Officer, Mental Health Ireland,
North East Region, Bridie McDonald, Clinical Co-
ordinator, Cavan Mental Health Services and Mr.
Brian Howard, C.E.O Mental Health Ireland.
New Club PROMOTION IN A PIN!
The GTi Club (Get Together Inishowen), centered Creative Students of Mount Temple Comprehensive
around Buncrana in Co Donegal, formed at the end of School, Malahide, Co. Dublin put their creative skills
2006 at the instigation of a group of people, many of to the test by designing a pin entitled ‘Mind your
whom had successfully completed a Work link Training Mind’ for sale raising over €1,350.00 in aid of
and Development Programme. The group decided to Mental Health Ireland.
affiliate to Mental Health Ireland and aims to promote
the general welfare of people with a mental illness, to
promote positive mental health and to give members
the opportunity to meet regularly to support each
other and plan events and social outings - thus
preventing isolation, which has been identified as a
barrier to recovery from mental illness.
For further information please contact Susanna Friel on
WICKLOW STUDENTS TALK THEIR WAY TO ALL-IRELAND GLORY!
L to R: Brian Howard, Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Byrne, Wayne Doyle, Daniel Alvey, Charlie Burke, Chairman of Wicklow Mental Health Association, Aoife
McDonald (substitute), Tutor Catriona Smith and Principal Thomas Tyrrell.
Students from Abbey Community College, The Glebe, the many supporters celebrating their great victory in
Wicklow Town brought All-Ireland glory to the county Trinity College Dublin were Abbey Community College's
when they won the National Finals of the Mental Health Principal Thomas Tyrrell, Deputy Principal Padraig
Ireland National Public Speaking award for Post-Primary Donoghue and Charlie Burke, Chairman of Wicklow
schools, held at the Edmund Burke Theatre, Trinity Mental Health Association.
College, Dublin on the 31st March 2007.
Brian Howard, Chief Executive of Mental Health Ireland,
Over 200 schools from all over Ireland took part in local speaking at the event, said that the National Public
and regional heats this year, and in the National Final Speaking Project receives tremendous support from
Abbey Community College competed against teams from schools, teachers and students. The event has been
Mount St Michael Secondary School, Rosscarbery, Co. running for 26 years and Mental Health Ireland is very
Cork and St Louis Community School, Kiltimagh, Co. grateful for the fact that support for it continues to
Members of the winning team, who were tutored by Teachers and students participate in this event because
Catriona Smith, were: Daniel Albey, Thomas Byrne, it encourages young people to explore mental health
Wayne Doyle with substitute Aoife McDonald. Among issues, to express their views and communicate with
others about this
unfortunately has too
often been ignored or
hidden. Young people
today face greater
pressures than their
pressures to succeed,
to pass examinations,
to be cool - which can
lead to negative
involving alcohol and
drugs. We see too
often the serious and
often tragic impact of
Health Ireland is
L to R: Kiltimagh Team - Julianne McNichols, Whitney Jordan, Heather Cleary and Elizabeth Lavin.
emphasis on helping
young people to learn
about and understand
mental health and
positive mental health
practices. Already our
Mental Health Matters
is available in 800
over 200 of which also
take part in the Public
Speaking project. We
are now exploring
methods of extending
this learning process
to primary level and
hope to be able to
introduce a new
younger pupils soon,
Mr Howard told the
capacity audience in
L to R: Brian Howard, CEO Mental Health Ireland, Bart Kerrisk, Principal of Mount St Michael Secondary School with
Roscarbery Team Triona O'Sullivan, Collete Gallwey, Aaron Vickery, Andrew Kirwan (substitute) and Aidan Fahy, Chairman of
Cork Mental Health Association.
‘DESIGN A COVER’ NATIONAL WINNER 2007
L to R: Michael Cummins, Development Officer, Mental Health Ireland, Nicola Hutton, Secretary Athy MHA, Birute Liepintye, National Winner 2007 and Mary
McKenna, Art Teacher, Athy Community College.
‘Design a Cover’ Project is a National Art Project Out of over 1,500 entries received from students around
which invites students in Post Primary Schools to design the country, 12 were selected for exhibition at the
the cover of the next Public Speaking Project Public Speaking National Final.
promotional material on the theme of Positive Mental
Health. The purpose of the project is to stimulate a Birute Liepintye, Athy Community College, Athy, Co.
greater level of awareness of Mental Health and to allow Kildare was declared the National winner of Design a
young people to explore the issue through the medium Cover. Mary McKenna, Art Teacher at Athy Community
of art and their own personal interpretations of mental College was delighted at Birute’s achievement.
April Lecture on Bullying by John Lonergan
Wicklow MHA’s April Lecture
was given by Mr John
Lonergan, Governor of
Mountjoy on Bullying.
WHAT IS BULLYING
Being bullied means to be
hurt, intimidated or
persecuted on a continual
basis. This can be on a
physical level but often is
more of a psychological
experience which makes life
unbearable for the receiver of
this unacceptable behaviour.
BULLYING IN THE HOME
John emphasised how bullying
in the home leaves a person
isolated and often without
support. Other family members
may not accept that bullying
is taking place. This is where
a person needs someone to
listen and understand what
they are experiencing but also
to prepare to face the bully
and ask for a different L to R: Anna Lee, leader of the Companions Club, John Lonergan and Michaela Avlund, Secretary of Wicklow
Mental Health Association.
PREPARATION want to get involved in order to support the victim. We
In order to face a bully you need to keep accurate need to unlearn this negative attitude and work
records of exactly what was said and when. Relying on together for a safe and supportive work environment.
memory can ruin your self-confidence as it is one
person’s word against another. Ideally, if you can gather BULLYING IN SCHOOL
witnesses around you but that may not always be Parents need to listen to their children and what is
possible. Remember that you are not the cause or going on in their lives in order to help them deal with
responsible for someone else’s bullying behaviour. their problems. However, John warned against parents
confronting other parents or school authorities without
BULLYING IN THE WORK PLACE the consent of their child or teenager. It is important to
Sometimes bullying can be a pattern that has developed find a joint strategy as the child or teenager could
over a number of years in a company where perhaps the otherwise be labelled as a ‘rat’ and become isolated for
bully is getting a lot done and no one dares to confront the rest of their school days. It may take time to find a
the person. However, the company may be paying for it satisfactory approach in co-operation with your child or
by a lot of sick days by people who don’t enjoy working teenager.
in an environment which should be safe and supportive.
Every company is obliged to put in place an anti-
bullying strategy. SUPPORT
WITNESSING BULLYING Anti-Bullying Centre in Trinity College
Witnessing bullying without saying something is National Association for Victims of Bullying
supporting the bully. Unfortunately, many people don’t Phone: 0506 31590
MENTAL HEALTH PROMOTION IN SOUTH TIPPERARY
South Tipperary Volunteers and Befrienders enjoying a social outing.
Since the birth of South Tipperary MHA, Mental who is also vice-chair of South Tipperary MHA. As a
Health awareness raising and support for people with a result of requests from the community, information
mental illness has always been to the forefront. South stands concerning mental health will be placed in the
Tipperary MHA work closely with the HSE Mental Health Credit Unions in Clonmel and Tipperary Town.
Services and other Voluntary services in the area. In
recent years Mental Health Promotion has become a A group of volunteers are being trained to act as friends
priority and in order to do this, new initiatives are to the patients in St.Luke’s Services, Clonmel. The
being developed. These initiatives compliment projects objective of this initiative is to provide a visiting
already being established. One to one befriending for service for people who may need small comforts like a
people with mental health difficulties was established in chat, a walk, company for a cup of tea or just someone
January 2006. This service provides trained volunteers to sit with. A great start has been made thanks to
who support people in the community who have mental South Tipperary MHA, a highly skilled co-ordinator and
health difficulties. above all incredibly caring volunteers who give of
themselves for the benefit of others. Mental Health
The management team for befriending meet in Cluian Promotion in South Tipperary is here to stay.
Training & Enterprise Centre. The focus in Cluain is the
education and training of young people with mental Special acknowledgements to the Management of Cluain
health dissiculties so both services i.e. befriending and Training & Enterprise Centre, South Tipperary MHA, the
Cluain Enterprises are working for the future of people Befriending volunteers and the Management of St.
in the community with a very special need. At the Luke’s Hospital.
moment, Befriending in South Tipperary is developing in
a number of areas. A link is being developed with the
Rapid areas in Clonmel and there is a commitment to For further information please contact:
organise Mental Health Promotion. Mental Health Project Co-ordinator - Katherine Murray – 086-8254021
Promotion in these areas will be organised by the co- MHA Honorary Secretary – Joe Cunningham
ordinator of the Befriending project – Katherine Murray,
CASTLEREA MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION
In April 2007, Castlerea MHA hosted a seminar with
renowned Child Psychiatrist, Dr. Vincent Maloney on the
topic "Rearing Adolescents: The 10 Golden Rules".
The seminar was aimed at parents, carers, professionals
and members of the general public who are interested
in the care of teenagers. Dr. Maloney is a well-known
expert in the field of child-rearing. He is a parent,
writer and regular contributor to RTÉ on various topics
regarding young people. He has also co-written, with
his wife, two books on the topic of the seminar,
"Coping with Adolescence" and "Parents under
Pressure". Dr. Maloney's lecture enraptured the
assembled audience in Tully's Hotel, Castlerea. It was an
entertaining and informative contribution to what can
be and is a difficult topic and experience for parents all Dr.Gregg Kelly, Chairperson of Castlerea M.H.A. presents a cheque for
over the country. 1000 to Yvonne Rogan of Castlerea/Ballinlough Kayak Club at a
Mental Health Ireland Meeting in Tully's Hotel Castlerea on Tuesday
After the Seminar the Castlerea Mental Health L to R: Myra Beirne, MHI Development Officer, Mary Reilly, Secretary
Association presented the Castlerea and Ballinlough Castlerea MHA, Yvonne Rogan, Castlerea/Ballinlough Kayak Club, Deirdre
District Kayaking Club with a cheque for € 1,000. Cllr Cahill Assistant Chairperson Castlerea MHA, Cllr.Luke "Ming" Flanagan,
Chairperson of Castlerea/Ballinlough Kayak Club, Paraic Beirne, Castlerea
Luke 'Ming' Flanagan thanked the local committee for MHA, Dr Gregg Kelly, Chairperson of Castlerea MHA, Marie Stenson, Castlerea
the generous help towards purchasing equipment for MHA and Catherine Collins, Castlerea MHA. Photo: Michael McCormack
the club. "Physical exercise plays a positive role in
peoples' development. I think the fact that an willing to contribute to a group like ourselves sends out
organisation like Castlerea Mental Health Association is the message that mental health and physical health are
connected. All one
has to do is visit the
club on an outing on
the lake and you
would immediately see
that everybody is in
good spirits enjoying
the fresh air. It is the
aim of Castlerea and
Kayaking Club to
provide recreation for
everyone who wishes
to participate and this
money will go some
way to a making that
happen," said Cllr
Text compliments of
Back Row L to R: Myra Beirne, MHI Development Officer, Mary O'Sullivan, Resource Officer for Suicide HSE West, Paraic
Beirne, Castlerea MHA, Marie Stenson, Castlerea MHA, Paul Healy, Roscommon Lions Club, Mary Reilly, Secretary Castlerea Roscommon Herald and
MHA, Catherine Collins, Castlerea MHA, Kathleen Shanagher, Roscommon Lions Club and Mary Candler Conry, Roscommon Photographs supplied by
Lions Club. Front L to R: Deirdre Cahill, Assistant Chairperson Castlerea MHA, Dr. Gregg Kelly, Chairperson of Castlerea MHA, Michael McCormack.
Helen McGrath, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, MHI, Dr. Vincent Maloney, Guest Speaker, John Hanley, Chairperson of
Roscommon Lions Club and Mary Larkin, Roscommon Lions Club. Photo: Michael McCormack
Event: Seminar on Suicide
Date: 6th October 2007 (10am - 4pm) Chief Executive Officer
Venue: Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone
Event: World Mental Health Day Information and Training Officer
Date: 10th October 2007
Theme: Mental Health in a Changing World: The Impact of
Culture and Diversity.
Understanding a person within their cultural context Contributions
Mensana News is your communication
is essential to quality mental health care. with local MHAs and other
Why not put pen to paper and let us
Mental Health Ireland Suicide Seminar Registration Form know what you are doing in your
area to promote mental health. Are
I wish to attend the Seminar on Suicide on Saturday the 6th of October
in the Hodson Bay Hotel Athlone. • in fund-raising?
• trying to educate the public?
• with young people?
Name: • helping to run and organise
(Please print) community residences?
If you are don’t keep it to yourself –
Address: tell us about it. Articles,
photographs, comments and
suggestions are all welcome.
They should be sent to the
Information and Training Officer at
the address below.
Enclosed 10.00 Registration Fee in bank draft / postal order or Publication Dates
cheque format The next issue of Mensana News
will be produced in December 2007.
Deadline for inclusion in the
Please detach registration form and send with bank draft / postal order next issue is November 2007.
or cheque for sum of 10.00 to:
Elaine Corcoran, Mental Health Ireland, Mensana House, 6 Adelaide
St, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.
Mensana News is published by Mental Health Ireland. MHI is a national voluntary
organisation which aims to promote positive mental health and to actively support
persons with a mental illness, their families and carers by identifying their needs and Mental Health Ireland
advocating their rights. Mental Health Ireland is made up of a network of local Mental Mensana House, 6 Adelaide Street,
Health Associations (MHAs) throughout the country who are affiliated to and share the Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
same aims and objectives as the national body. Mental Health Ireland is affiliated to
Mental Health Europe and the World Federation for Mental Health. Tel: 01-2841166
20 Fax: 01-2841736
Further information is available on our website; www.mentalhealthireland.ie Email: firstname.lastname@example.org