National Public Speaking Final 2007 'Designa Cover'Project Mental

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					                    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
Editorial
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




2
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,
                                                                                                                           Cairde Le
                                         Dublin 12. A large group
                                                                                                                           Chéile -
                                         of friends, some with long
                                                                                                                           Friend’s
A birthday cake for Crumlin & District   past association attended
MHA presented by Chairman of                                                                                               Together Social
                                         the party.
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

                                                                                                                                         3
    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
as possible.
                                                             • Modernising fundraising legislations (including the
The main features of the Bill include:                         introduction of a permit regime for direct debit
                                                               "collections").
• 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




                                     STAFF CHANGES
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
                                  Ireland.

                                  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!

4
      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).




                                                                                                                                                       5
Social Inclusion
               at its
    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.
6
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,
                                                                                                                                         7
Social Inclusion
                                                                         at its
                         Very Best in the West
                                                                                                                                         Continued
                                                                                  team–based and user-friendly set of services for the
                                                                                  public.

                                                                                  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.
                                                                                  inclusion.




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.'


8
     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

                                                                                                                                                               9
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
Ireland.




                                                                              L to R: Michael McGinn, MHI Development Officer and Patricia Manning,
                                                                              Kells MHA.




L to R: Mike Frank Russell, Guest of Honour and Liam Hassett, MHI Board
Member




                                                                              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.


10
                                                                                            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

                                                                                                                                                           11
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
Ireland, Samaritans.
                                                             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.

12
            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.




                                                             MENTAL HEALTH
     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
086- 8538997




                                                                                                              13
                              NATIONAL PUBLIC
  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
Mayo.                                                                            grow.

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

14
  SPEAKING FINAL
                                                                                                                            others about this
                                                                                                                            vitally important
                                                                                                                            topic, which
                                                                                                                            unfortunately has too
                                                                                                                            often been ignored or
                                                                                                                            hidden. Young people
                                                                                                                            today face greater
                                                                                                                            pressures than their
                                                                                                                            predecessors,
                                                                                                                            pressures to succeed,
                                                                                                                            to pass examinations,
                                                                                                                            to be cool - which can
                                                                                                                            lead to negative
                                                                                                                            lifestyle practices
                                                                                                                            involving alcohol and
                                                                                                                            drugs. We see too
                                                                                                                            often the serious and
                                                                                                                            often tragic impact of
                                                                                                                            these pressures.

                                                                                                                            Consequently Mental
                                                                                                                            Health Ireland is
                                                                                                                            placing increasing
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
                                                                                                                            education programme
                                                                                                                            is available in 800
                                                                                                                            secondary schools,
                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                            programme for
                                                                                                                            younger pupils soon,
                                                                                                                            Mr Howard told the
                                                                                                                            capacity audience in
                                                                                                                            Trinity College.

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.


                                                                                                                                                15
‘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.
health.




 16
  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.
behaviour.

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
                                                                     Support: http://www.abc.tcd.ie/
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

                                                                                                                                            17
 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,

18
               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
                                                                                    Night.
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
                                                                                                                      intrinsically
                                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                                      Ballinlough District
                                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                                      Flanagan.

                                                                                                                                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


                                                                                                                                                           19
                                                                                          Mensana News
                                                                                          Summer 2007
Calendar 2007
 Event:           Seminar on Suicide
                                                                                          Production Team
                                                                                          Brian Howard
 Date:            6th October 2007 (10am - 4pm)                                           Chief Executive Officer
 Venue:           Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone
                                                                                          Anna Kavanagh
 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
                                                                                          associations.

                                                                                          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
                                                                                          you involved:
  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.

  Date:


          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: info@mentalhealthireland.ie