Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. Our mental health is often on a scale from feeling well to feeling unwell. When we experience these ups and downs, it is helpful to know what we can do to support ourselves and the people we love.
YourMentalHealth.ie is a place to learn about mental health in Ireland, find support services near you and learn about the #littlethings that can make a big difference to how we all feel.
Follow this link to check in with your own mental health and explore and share the things you can do to feel well.
Let’s Talk - ending stigma around mental health
Stigma around mental health can prevent those struggling with their mental from seeking help. Here are five simple ways to help end stigma and start a conversation instead.
- Language Matters - the language you use when speaking about mental health is important. Be careful with your words. A person with a mental illness or struggling with their mental health is not ‘crazy.'
Expressions like “You’ll get over it” and “Just relax” can hurt more than help. Instead, offer your support and say “I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well” or better yet, ask what you can do to help.
- Educate Yourself - There are many great resources for learning about mental health, some of which are outlined on this wellness page. Having the tools, knowing the right words and understanding how to correctly speak to someone experiencing mental health difficulties can give you the confidence to talk to them.
- Be Kind - Kindness can make all the difference. Inviting someone for a chat and listening to them can let someone know you’re there for them.
- Listen and Ask - Everyone experiences ups and downs at different points in their lives, with many people experiencing mental illness and difficulties with their mental health. Being a good listener and asking how you can help or simply just being there for people you care about can be the first step to recovery.
Here are a few examples of what to ask:
- I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well.
- I’ve noticed you’ve been down lately. Is everything OK?
- How can I help?
- Talk About it - Two out of three people suffer in silence, fearing judgement and rejection. Being open to a conversation is the first step towards eliminating the stigma.
Know the facts, be kind, be a good listener and a friend. Be part of the conversation to eliminate the stigma once and for all.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that over 800,000 people die by suicide each year – that’s one person every 40 seconds.
The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) chose this year's World Suicide Prevention Day theme, “Working together to prevent suicide,” to remind us that suicide is a community issue and is everyone's business. No one should suffer alone, and together we can fight suicide and reach out to others when they are in need.
Preventing suicide is often possible and there are many things that you can do daily to prevent suicidal behaviour. You can:
- Raise awareness about the issue,
- Educate yourself and others about the causes of suicide and warning signs for suicide,
- Show compassion and care for those who are in distress in your community,
- Question the stigma associated with suicide, suicidal behaviour and mental health problems and
- Share your own experiences.
EsuicideTALK is an online workshop organised around the question “should we talk about suicide?” It is a safe place to learn and explore some of the more challenging issues around suicide and encourages everyone to find a part they can play in preventing suicide.
To find more information on how to register for this programme click here.
The National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) and other organisations have created a range of information booklets on suicide, self-harm and mental health.
You can view this information online and many of these resources are also available in hard copy in resource stands in the library and the Students’ Union.
Better Out Than In
BeLonG To's recently launched 'Better Out Than In' campaign strives to promote a healthier relationship with mental health and wellbeing amongst 14-23 year olds in Ireland who are LGBTI+ and to encourage young LGBTI+ people to come out about their mental health and seek help if, and when, they need it.
Videos, Apps and Podcasts
Online Wellness Workshop
Wellnessworkshop.ie provides simple, practical and effective tools that you can use to monitor and manage your own mental health on a day-to-day basis.
Topics covered include:
- Developing a daily wellness plan
- Bringing calm into your life
Walk In My Shoes provides a series of audio clips for conducting mindfulness sessions. Why not organise a mindfulness session with your friends or classmates? The Students’ Union is always happy to help if you want to organise an event.
The Mental Health Foundation in the UK has created a series of free audio podcasts that help you relax and improve your sense of wellbeing.
- mindfulness practice
- overcoming fear and anxiety
- positive thinking
- breathing techniques
You can access the podcasts for free.
'ReCharge' from the Union of Students in Ireland
The ‘ReCharge’ campaign is a campaign to empower and encourage students to seek support and take time to recharge their mental health and the '+Connections' app will feature functions that promote positive mental health and provide connections to various support services. Both, recently launched by the USI, will attempt to encourage students to seek support when they need it.
WorkOut Mental Fitness App
(App under construction)
WorkOut is a mental fitness phone app developed by ReachOut Ireland. It helps you to work on developing:
- your problem-solving skills
- goal setting
- making time for things you enjoy
- identifying your strengths
- identifying your social support networks and lots more
It’s based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT is a practical action-oriented approach to moving past negative thinking patterns, which can impact our mood and outlook.