Home News Laois Connects for positive mental health week

Laois Connects for positive mental health week

Pictured at the launch of of the Laois Connects 2017 Programme at County Hall were: ( l. to r.) Catriona Slattery ( Laois Sports Partnership ), Clr. Padraig Fleming ( Cathaoirleach, Laois Co. Council ), Josephine Rigney (Resource Officer-Suicide Prevention ) and Storm Powell ( Laois Partnership Company ). Photo: Michael Scully.

Laois will aim to promote positive mental health and wellbeing as part of Laois Connects Mental Health Week.

The event runs from Saturday, October 7 until Saturday October 14.

The week is organised by Laois Mental Health Collaborative Group, whose members include Laois County Council, Laois Sports Partnership, Laois Partnership Company, Mental Health Ireland, HSE, Laois/Offaly ETB and youth sector representatives.

The positive mental health week is now in its seventh year.

The organisers say it is important for us as a community to learn more about our mental health and understand its impact in our daily lives.

The overall aim of Laois Connects week is to encourage communities to talk about mental health, to reduce the stigma associated with mental health difficulties and to encourage the seeking of help at times of crisis.

It is also important that we learn how to support a person experiencing mental health difficulties and minimize the risks of poor mental health.

The programme for Laois Connects Week, boasts some returning favourites, such as community organised walks, art workshops and Library events throughout the week.

A 5K Park Run/Walk will launch the week taking place in Vicarstown on the Grand Canal Bank with special guest Laois Rose, Maeve Dunne, hosted by Laois Sports Partnership on Saturday 7 October at 9.30am.

The Kathleen Gorman Memorial event takes place this year in the Community Centre in Timahoe, with special guest Frances Black, Senator and one of Ireland’s most iconic singers, and part of the famous all-singing Black Family.

Frances will speak on “Alcohol & Mental Health”.


HSE CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) have come on board this year with a number of talk for schools, both students and teachers.

CAMHS will also host an Information and Display Stand in Laois Shopping Centre during the week.

The HSE Suicide Prevention Resource Officer will host a number of SafeTALK (suicide alertness) Programmes, which teaches the skills to become “suicide alert” and HSE Community Health Centre in Portlaoise are hosting the following talks, “Bringing Lived Experience into Practice”; “Knowledge is Power”; “Living with Everyday Stressors” and “Living in the Now”.

On the lighter side, Camross Adult Set Dancers invite you to join them for a special dance class where you will be shown how dance can lead to a healthy lifestyle, integrating the mind, body and soul and make you a happier person. Wednesday 11th at 8.30pm.

Pictured at the launch of of the Laois Connects 2017 Programme at County Hall were:Seated ( l. to r.) Sinead Ward ( Laois Sports Partnership ) , Clr. Padraig Fleming ( Cathaoirleach, Laois Co. Council ) and Catriona Slattery ( Laois Sorts Partnership ). Back ( l. to r.) Georgina Ireland ( Community Development Laois Co Co) , Geraldine Delaney ( Staff Officer- Laois Co Co ), Josephine Rigney (Resource Officer-Suicide Prevention ), Anne Goodwin and Storm Powell ( Laois Partnership Company ). Photo: Michael Scully.

As part of the week, Mountmellick Community College this year are hosting a Film in the Balcony Cinema, Mountmellick called “It’s Kind of a Funny Storey” which will be followed by a Q and A session.

Students from all Post Primary Schools across Laois are invited to attend this event. They will be invited to attend also a Public Speaking Event in Mountmellick Library.

The importance of the arts will be highlighted again this year by Mount Henry Art Studio, who will host “Connect and Reflect through Creativity” and, “My Creative Side” activities for children with disabilities.

Laois Arts Office will also host a Workshop – “Unlocking the Creative Self” with writer and Portlaoise native Pauline Clooney.

Golden Egg Holistic has joined us this year with “Complementary Therapies for Mental Health” and “Sound Meditation Class”.

Physical activity

It is widely known that physical activity aids our mental health and in keeping with that theme, a number of sport related events will include a Gathering for Older Adults in the Community Centre, Vicarstown along with a Wellness Afternoon in the Heritage Centre, Timahoe.

For full details of the Laois CONNECTS programme and for copies of programme of events, log on to www.laois.ie, check out www/facebook.com/laoisconnects or contact Community Development in Laois County Council, Tel:  057 86 64107 or email dce@laoiscoco.ie

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A journalist for over 20 years, David has worked for a number of regional titles both as journalist and editor. From Tullamore he also works as a content editor for Independent.ie. His heroes include Shane Lowry, Seamus Darby and Johnny Flaherty