Initiated by Kilkenny GAA Health & Wellbeing Committee new signage to highlight both means of minding your mental health and supports available have been developed in collaboration with Mental Health Ireland, HSE Connecting for Life (South East Community Healthcare) and Healthy Kilkenny. The signage, was launched at UPMC Nowlan Park on the 20th of November.
Cathaoirleach Cllr Michael Doyle, addressing the GAA clubs, emphasised the significance of prioritising mental health. He noted, “This signage will help communities increase awareness around how you yourself can support your own wellbeing and how you can access supports for yourself or others.” Echoing these sentiments, Mayor of Kilkenny Municipal District, Cllr. Joe Malone, underlined the pivotal role of GAA clubs as the heart and soul of communities. Cllr Malone also emphasised that these signs are not just for players but for the entire community, including volunteers, coaches, spectators, and visitors.
Speaking of the initiative, Carmel Kenny of Kilkenny GAA Health & Wellbeing Committee explained how the initiative developed ‘With the support of the HSE National Lottery Funding we collaborated with Mental Health Ireland, HSE Connecting for Life and Healthy Kilkenny. The expertise of each agency helped to develop and refine the signage, ensuring the messaging is clear with key support services for mental health and wellbeing’
Tracy Nugent, HSE Lead for Connecting for Life Suicide Prevention in the South East, discussed the importance of the HSE funded services highlighted on the signs, emphasising their availability 24/7. Tracy Nugent also highlighted the availability of safeTALK training (Suicide Alertness for Everyone), delivered by the HSE Regional Suicide Resource Office, this training is a key component of the Healthy Clubs initiative in the GAA.
Gina Delaney of Mental Health Ireland delved into the specific themes on the signage, outlining its details regarding the “Five Ways to Wellbeing” campaign. She explained that these are simple actions to practice each day to maintain or improve mental health. Having these signs in GAA Clubs across the county will serve as a visible reminder to all and positively impact community wellbeing.
PJ Kenny, Chair of Kilkenny GAA County Board, shifted the focus to the practical implications of the signage within each GAA Club. He announced plans to distribute signs to each club in the coming weeks, anticipating a positive impact on the community’s collective awareness of various ways to look after wellbeing and seek support when needed.
By Mary Morgan Fri 24th Nov