“Every individual citizen must play a part in ensuring that mental illness and mental health services are given the recognition and resourcing they require”.
Says John Lonergan, Patron of Mental Health Organisation Grow .
Lonergan has long been an outspoken advocate for mental health suffers, and has campaigned for better awareness around mental health and greater compassion for those suffering mental health problems. He is currently Patron of the voluntary mental health organisation Grow.
“As well as raising awareness around mental health and destigmatising mental illness, society has a responsibility to ensure that mental health is prioritised when it comes to public spending,” Lonergan said.
Services for people experiencing mental health difficulties are still very patchy around the country and access to care is often dependent on geography. This must change, he said.
“As citizens we all have a responsibility to be a voice and an advocate for fairness and equality. One of the areas we certainly need to focus on is the resourcing of mental health services and the status that is given
to mental health in Irish society.”
Lonergan, a native of Bansha in Tipperary, will be guest speaker at the first of four public talks on mental health which will be held at the Park Hotel in Clonmel over the coming month. The meetings are being hosted by Grow in Ireland, in conjunction with the HSE. The aim of the four-week programme is to promote community awareness around good mental health and to inform people of the local supports available.
At the first meeting on Thursday April 10th, Mr Lonergan will speak on the importance of supporting each other in times of need, ensuring a balance in life, and the importance of parenting in the development of mental wellbeing.
On Thursday April 17th, therapist Derry O’Malley will speak on the topic of ‘Understanding and minding your mental health’ and on Thursday April 24th, Linda Thorpe from Mental Health Ireland will speak on the issue of ‘Building resilience’. The four-week programme will conclude on Thursday May 1st with a presentation from Christine Fitzgerald from Grow in Ireland who will provide information on local mental health services and supports.
All meetings begin at 7.30pm. Admission is free and refreshments will be provided. Certificates of attendance will be awarded on week 4. For reservations contact Caroline Crotty on 086-4673239 or Mary Walsh on 087-2843424.