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Clare learns to stay strong

Suicide rates are up, there are more homeless people on the streets and many people face financial stress, work worries and relationship breakdown. The challenges of this recession are impossible to avoid and the damage to mental health is now evident.

Transition year pupils from Scoil Muire in Ennis announce their Building Resilience campaign as part of Mental Health Week 2010.  Photograph by Declan MonaghanWith this in mind, a new campaign urging Clare people to seek help if experiencing stress and worry will run during the first two weeks of October. Mental Health Ireland is urging communities and individuals to build resilience by signing up for a course, learning a new skill or taking up some activity.
Organisations, communities, clubs and associations will also encourage their members to sign up, link in and get involved.
Clare mental health associations have organised a series of events for the week. Psychologists and mental health experts will be on hand to offer advice on building resilience at home, at work, in school or college and in the community.
Lectures, seminars, choral events and Burren walks will all be part of the Building Resilience campaign. A leaflet outlining tips on building resilience will also be launched.
According to Anne Buckley, development officer for Mental Health Ireland in the Mid-West, “Resilience is the ability to bounce back from stressful or challenging experiences.
“Even wealth can’t protect us from trauma and tragedy but resilience does. Strength in the face of adversity is one of the most important characteristics anyone can have. More importantly, resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. The Building Resilience campaign aims to give people the tools to help them cope in these incredibly stressful times,” Anne added.
Ennis Mental Health Association will host a workshop, Building Resilience in Children: What Parents Can Do, for parents conducted by clinical psychologists Cian Harris and Suarla Fitzsimons, HSE Clare Child Psychology Department, in the Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis next Wednesday at 7.30pm.
HSE psychologist Brian Dunne and senior occupational therapist Deirdre Hearne will host lunchtime sessions for HSE staff during the campaign.
An interactive evening with the acclaimed Lismorahaun Singers will take place in the Falls Hotel, Ennistymon on Wednesday at 7.30pm, hosted by North Clare Mental Health Association and on Saturday, the association will host their annual Burren Walk with Tony Kirby, meeting at 11.30am at Kilnaboy Church.
On Thursday, October 7, Shannon Family Resource Centre hosts a Music Therapy Workshop in the Oakwood Hotel, Shannon from 11am to 12.30pm.
Anne Buckley and Geri Quinn, health promotion manager, Clare will host a Stress-less Day for health care workers on Wednesday, October 13.
This campaign is based on a similar resilience building campaign that has been run by the New South Wales Mental Health Association in Australia for the past three years. All events are free and for further information, contact 065 6865847.


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