TULLAMORE Mental Health Association has launched its second annual public lecture on recognising the benefits of positive mental health in life. The group officially launched the event on Thursday night and is urging people from around the Midlands to attend on Wednesday, April 13 at 7.30pm in the Millennium Room, Bridge House Hotel.
Consultant in Adult Psychiatry at the Mater Hospital, Professor Patricia Casey is guest speaker and will offer ideas on how to improve your mental health and deal with mental illness.
Mags Lowry, PRO of the group, says they’re delighted to have Professor Casey attend as she is a well known expert, especially through her regular column in a national newspaper.
She says the professor is also keen to emphasise the difference between mental health and mental illness, something that is close to the heart of the Tullamore group.
Their aim is to increase awareness that good mental health is connected to good physical health and an active social life. They say that good mental health is a resource we can all protect and improve.
Mental health is about how we cope every day and it affects all of us. Mental illness however is very specific and affects a minority of people. It also requires specialised medical care.
“In the International Year of the Volunteer, we’re doing this to give back something to the community,” says Mags, who says the group is grateful for the public’s support over the years, particularly at the World Mental Health Day Walks which emphasise how important physical exercise is in developing good mental health.
She says there are everyday actions people can take to improve their mental health, before they get to the stage that they need to contact their GP.
“Having the courage not to be perfect – you don’t have to be perfect, take time out for yourself, take exercise,” are some of her suggestions.
Finola Colgan of Mental Health Ireland says it’s time to end the stigma associated with mental ill health. In these challenging times, she says it’s important to develop resilience and look after our mental health.
“If we feel stressed or depressed, then our mental health is at risk and that may lead to mental illness,” she says.
Dr Catherine Browne Consultant Psychiatrist with the HSE Laois/Offaly will chair the event which is free of charge, will take place in Tullamore on April 13.