Promoting positive mental health
09/09/2014To recognise World Suicide Prevention Day (Wednesday 10 September) and World Mental Health Day (Friday 10 October), the Southern Health and Social Care Trust has published a calendar involving almost 30 events.
Throughout September and October, events organised by numerous voluntary and community organisations and the Promoting Wellbeing Team at the Southern Trust will offer information, support and advice and remember those who have died by suicide. The calendar can be accessed at the Trust website at www.southerntrust.hscni.net/pdf/2014CalendarofEventsWSPD-WMHD.pdf
Nuala Quinn, Protect Life Co-ordinator at the Southern Trust, explains: “We’ve pulled together a range of events aimed at the whole community that have been organised to promote positive mental health and increase awareness of support services for those in need. We hope the calendar will be a valuable resource for those who have been affected by suicide or mental ill health. It highlights new events aimed at keeping us mentally healthy.
“Research has shown that suicide prevention and early intervention efforts are successful at saving lives, and by encouraging and assisting people to learn when and how to speak up, suicides can be prevented. The Southern Trust works with statutory, voluntary and community organisations in the Government’s Protect Life Strategy and Mental Health Promotion Strategy which aim to reduce the suicide rate in Northern Ireland and increase awareness of positive mental health.”
The calendar includes SafeTALK training to help individuals connect with people who are having suicidal thoughts, an Introduction to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Walk Leader Training. Four Review Relax Renew sessions have been organised to explore the relationship between stress, pressure and performance.
There are awareness sessions, training and presentations on suicide awareness, mental health, eating distress, stress management, mindfulness and abuse. Niamh Louise Foundation in Dungannon is hosting an open day and a youth group open night at their centre. PIPS Upper Bann and AMH Menssana Protect Life Community Resource Service are remembering those who have died by suicide with balloon releases on 10 September.
Armagh City and District Council is also involved and a number of events are being held in community venues including Harps Club, Masonic Hall and Dobbin Street Community Centre in the city. Mental Health First Aid Training is taking place in Markethill and Portadown while SafeTALK, the new suicide alertness programme, will take place in Kilkeel, Newry and Portadown.
On 6 November, the Five Ways to Wellbeing Conference at Lough Neagh Discovery Centre has Nic Marks, Founder of the Centre for Wellbeing at New Economics Foundation, as the keynote speaker.
Protect Life in the Southern Trust is complemented by the regional Lifeline Helpline – 0808 808 8000 – a 24 hour telephone helpline for anyone suffering emotional distress.