Laois Rose Maeve Dunne is supporting the mental health charity GROW at this year’s Rose of Tralee Festival in Kerry.
The Mountmellick native hopes to promote positive mental health throughout the coming year.
Maeve spoke about the importance of raising mental health awareness before travelling to Kerry for the international festival.
“When I was selected to become the Laois Rose, I wanted mental health and promoting mental health awareness to be my main focus,” said Maeve.
Importance in talking about mental health
Maeve highlighted the importance of people being able to talk about their mental health.
“It’s about getting people to start talking about their mental health and their mental health struggles. Our younger people are more educated in the area but we still have a huge distance to go before it becomes non-stigmatised to talk about mental health,” she said.
Maeve also placed importance on normalising talking about mental health. “It’s so crucial to normalise seeking help and for people to know that it is okay to admit that they are struggling with their mental and emotional wellbeing,” she added.
“My reasoning behind working alongside GROW in the Laois area is because I’ve seen how badly the services are needed. It can often be difficult for people to admit, at first, that there is a problem and that they are struggling with their mental health. Once they first say I’m not feeling okay, then GROW can absolutely help,” she added.
GROW’s Regional Manager, Ruairi Powell, commended Maeve on her excellent work in supporting GROW and promoting GROW’s message of positive mental health and recovery.
“We would like to sincerely thank Maeve for being such an enthusiastic advocate for GROW and for highlighting our services in Laois. On behalf of all in GROW, I would like to wish Maeve every success in the Rose of Tralee festival. She is a fantastic ambassador for her native Mountmellick and Laois,” said Ruairi.
GROW is Ireland’s largest community-based mental health organisation and has been helping people on the road to mental health recovery for almost 50 years.
It holds peer support group meetings in communities across Laois. GROW meetings are free to attend and open to those aged over 18.