For the week that’s in it I thought I’d write a few words on my experience at the Mental Health & Wellbeing Summit 2018 at the Aviva Stadium on Thursday the 12th of October.
First off, I would like to thank Marie Kearns – HR Manager with L&M Keating for the invitation to the event. I thoroughly enjoyed the days guest speakers and workshops which gave me an insight into what is one of the biggest issues in Ireland at the minute.
I don’t think there is a single person in this country who has not been affected by Mental Health & Suicide in some way, be it personally or family or friends.
Obviously, as a keen sports nut, I always love an insight into how any top athlete or sports team operates in the hunt for success. Joe Schmidt (Irish Rugby head coach) was/is as good a man as any to speak on sporting successes in this and for any country for that matter.
His take on practicing purposeful Mindfulness and getting his players to buy into that concept from his days as an English teacher in his native New Zealand, to his current role via France & Leinster is something I will aspire to take into my own day to day routines from now on.
Dr. Eoin Galavan, was another person who, after listening to him speak on research into suicide and suicide prevention, will try to incorporate aspects in my life moving forward.
As we all (or may not) know, men account for almost 80% of suicides recorded in the state annually. Dr. Galavan highlighted a number a stressing facts that, we as a nation actually have the power to change.
From his research, along with countless others pointed out, that the culture for men is to bottle up their emotions and insecurities and can rarely feel that they can ask for help. Any issues that they are dealing with, will be put to one side to carry on working/providing/caring for their loved ones.
But on the other hand, they are more likely to accept help when the offer is there. It seems to be a lot easier to take that helping hand when extended than to actively go out and seek help.
It’s very easy to say so now, typing a few words on a page, but if there is one thing I would hopefully like to practice and not preach, is to speak to my friends and family from time to time and genuinely ask them if they are okay.
Mental Health & Suicide in Ireland can seem like, and is, too much for any one person to fix but what we can do, in time, is change the stigma associated with the illness and change the culture surrounding it so that is even a fraction easier for those in need to speak up.
It’s Okay Not To Be Okay!!!!
Is mise le meas,