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Series of events for mental health week

ONE of Ireland’s foremost practitioners in the field of psychology will be among the guest speakers during Mental Health Week in Ennis this month.
Dr Tony Bates, who founded Jigsaw, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health, will be the keynote speaker at one of a number of events in the county town next month.
Ennis Mental Health Association has organised a varied programme of events around the town, where it aims to promote and educate on positive mental health and wellness.
This year’s Mental Health Week takes place from October 7 to 13.
“In bringing you this year’s programme, EMHA is truly delighted to work with such renowned experts in their respective fields,” said a spokesperson for the group.
Dr Bates’ appearance is at the final event of the week, on Wednesday, October 13 in the Temple Gate Hotel at 7pm.
Dr Bates was head of psychology for 30 years in St James’ hospital, Dublin and established and directed the MSc Cognitive Psychotherapy in TCD until 2006. He founded Jigsaw to serve young people and their mental health needs.
He will speak on ‘Begin Again: Practical Resilience for Difficult Times’. “Resilience is what helps when life takes a turn for the worse. The purpose of this workshop is to support you finding the resilience you need to face challenges in your life, big or small,” said the EMHA spokesperson.
“To begin again. The strength you need lies inside you, in relationships, in your community and in the wider world. In the face of a crisis it can be hard to see these resources,” they added.
The workshop will guide people in identifying and connecting with their own inner strength and with resources in their own life.
Through a series of simple interactive exercises each participant will knit together these supports into a personal ‘resilience story’.
“The aim is to make you feel more confident that whatever challenge you are facing, a better-than-expected outcome is possible.
“And you leave this workshop with the clarity and confidence you need to help move in the direction of making that happen.”
The week’s events will kick off with ‘Singing for Wellness’ with Maria Wood of Sing to Connect. This is an opportunity to sample the mental health benefits of community singing.
The event will involve simple songs that will “bring you to a place of peace, connection and joy”, say the organisers.
“Some will be in harmony, some will be in unison. They will be songs to uplift, soothe and inspire and you will be able to carry them home with you to sing to your heart’s content,” the spokesperson said.
This workshop is suitable for beginners and experienced singers and will take place in the Old Ground Hotel on Thursday, October 7, at 7pm.
The following day at 11am, Pat Sexton of Clare Sports Partnership will lead a walk with a mental health and well being focus through Lee’s Road’s woodland walking trails.
This will be a slow-paced, relaxed walk of 3km to 4km and will take a maximum of one hour.
On Monday, October 11, nutritional therapist Grainne Travers will discuss how nutrition and lifestyle can play an important role in mental health.
She will discuss various topics including energy balance, inflammation, gut bacteria, sleep and exercise.
She will also demonstrate simple and healthy foods that can be incorporated into daily life. This event will take place at Ennis Scout Hall at 7pm.
All events this year are free, and if you are unable to attend in-person, all indoor events will also be streamed live this year on the EMHA Facebook page.
Booking is necessary for all indoor events and the capacity is limited due to public health measures. Indoor events are restricted to fully vaccinated persons only To book your place simply call / text: 085 2524608 or email: ennismha@mentalhealthireland.ie.

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