Running from Monday, October 31 to Sunday, November 6, Be Well Limerick Week is a youth-led mental health initiative that promoted positive mental health and well-being organized by the Limerick Youth Service. The week aimed to equip young people with a mental health and well-being first aid kit, tackling the stigma sometimes associated with mental health and promote a help-seeking culture. A talk with a leading mental health expert and a number of interactive and diverse workshops were just part of the busy programme.
This past Friday evening saw a variety of speakers at the Savoy Hotel share their personal experiences with mental health issues. Titled Pathway to Recovery, the evening included contributions from young people who addressed the crowd with tips on how to cope with mental health struggles.
Guest speakers included Richard Lynch of I Love Limerick, Operation Transformations’ Eddie Murphy, Jen Ronan, mental health advocate and blogger and Limerick Youth Services volunteers Bobbi-Marie O’Callaghan and Andy Yu.
Richard shared his own mental health journey at the event on Friday evening, speaking candidly of his time in New York, dealing with addiction and the emotional turmoil that results. Richard talked about using wild nights out as a form of escapism to escape the inner pain he was feeling, saying he has learned that, “if you’re partying to make yourself feel better, you shouldn’t be partying at all.”
Andy Yu, a volunteer from Limerick Youth Services gave tips on battling mental health problems commenting, “talking is your greatest weapon, your voice is meant to be heard.” The inspiring Jen Ronan spoke about her journey saying, “If you have a dip in your mental health, it’s not a bump, it’s not a detour – it’s part of the path”.
Limerick Youth Service remains committed to supporting and encouraging young people to be active participants in shaping their futures.
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Photos: Cian Reinhardt / ilovelimerick