HSE urges everyone to participate in events marking World Mental Health Day – Thursday October 10th


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The HSE is marking World Mental Health Day – Thursday, October 10th –  by reminding everyone of the steps we can all take to protect our own mental health and support the people we care about.

Observed on the same date every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilising action in support of mental health, the World Health Organisation’s theme for 2016 is ‘Psychological First Aid.’

Efforts in support of the day will focus on basic pragmatic psychological support by people who find themselves in a helping role whether they be health staff, teachers, firemen, community workers or policy officers.

Reflecting this year’s international theme, the HSE is reminding everyone of the importance of little things when managing our own mental health and supporting those around them.

The HSE’s #littlethings campaign is led by the national mental health division and a coalition of more than 30 partner organisations.

The campaign focuses on sharing evidence-based, simple and powerful day-to-day steps – little things that we can all do to protect our own mental health, and support the people we care about. People are encouraged to eat and sleep well, take regular exercise, talk about their problems, drink less alcohol and stay in touch and spend time with others – all proven to improve mental health.

Among the steps suggested through the #littlethings campaign and shown to have a significant impact are:

Lending an ear is lending a hand

Problems feel smaller when you share them

If a friend seems distant catch up with them

Add friends to your tea

Encouraging everyone to embrace the #littlethings approach and endorsing this year’s international theme, HSE National Director of Mental Health Anne O’Connor today stressed that “this year’s theme underpins much of the work of our staff in the mental health division and those who work in partnership with us across the country.  Our positive mental health campaign, #littlethings provides information and tips on how people can do little things can make a big difference to their mental health. We are encouraging people to get involved in any way they can, whether its simply by having a conversation about their own mental health or by getting involved in an event in your community.”

Acknowledging the significant quantity and range of activities taking place across the country to mark the day, Ms O Connor added:  “Lots of individuals and organisations including our own HSE mental health staff are marking the day with local community events, positive mental health festivals, conferences, training workshops, art exhibitions and more. We would encourage everyone to participate where and when they can.”

Adding his endorsement to the international theme, Director of the National Office for Suicide Prevention, Mr Gerry Raleigh, stressed the need for “honest conversations about our mental health. We can all use a day like today to talk openly and in that expression we can enhance our own mental health and influence those around us.  We each have different needs but through our collective endeavours we can create an environment where those needs can be identified, addressed and hopefully met.”

To find out more about #littlethings and for general information and guidance please go to www.yourmentalhealth.ie/Get-involved/LittleThings-campaign and for general information on mental health and supports and services available and a full overview of the events taking place today go to www.yourmentalhealth.ie

Source: The Health Service Executive

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