Missed any of our mental health events or wellbeing sessions in WIMS Live 2021? You can catch up on everything here.
WIMS Live 2021 had a jam-packed online programme of events and activities to promote our wellbeing. From talks by mental health experts from St Patrick's Mental Health Services (SPMHS) and beyond and self-care practices with wellbeing ambassadors to podcasts with people who have gone through challenges themselves, we focused on how we can all manage our feelings, nurture our wellness, and use our resilience to make our mental health a priority.
Check back here to watch all the events, take part in all the activities, and get great tips for minding your mental health and wellbeing.
What do you do to mind your wellbeing? We put a focus on this in our opening week of WIMS Live 2021. From dealing with challenges to our mental health - like the grief all of us go through at some point or the climate anxiety weighing on more of us than ever - to learning how to give ourselves the gift of time, space and self-expression through self-care practices like journalling, we had lots of helpful wellbeing tips and ideas for you.
Watch | Climate Change and Mental Health
The realities of climate change are becoming more and more clear. Many of us are experiencing anxiety around the fate of the planet, those of us that inhabit it and what lies ahead for future generations.
In this webinar, we discuss some of the ways in which climate anxiety manifests itself in our daily lives; how this eco anxiety is a natural response to a serious issue; how taking action can help to empower us and ease feelings of helplessness; and how nature and the environment can support our wellbeing.
- Caroline Hickman, psychotherapist, lecturer at the University of Bath researching climate anxiety in children and young people globally, and board member of the Climate Psychology Alliance
- Tadhg MacIntyre, Assistant Professor of Environmental Psychology at Maynooth University
- Anthony Freeman, beekeeper with the Inner City Beekeeping Project.
As serious as climate change is, this conversation strikes notes of hope for those of us feeling a bit overwhelmed or helpless in the face of the climate crisis.
Take part | Benefits of Journaling
We can all bottle up our thoughts and feelings, but this can damage our physical and emotional wellbeing. Keeping a diary or journal can help us to unbottle these feelings, to recognise patterns in the way we think, and to deal with our emotions.
Dr Declan Lyons, Consultant Psychiatrist at St Patrick's Mental Health Services (SPMHS), explains the scientifically proven benefits of journaling, before giving us tips on how to put pen to paper in the most helpful way.
Listen | Grief and Growth with Zoe Holohan
Grief is something that affects each of us during our lives; it is a personal, natural response to losing someone we love or care for, and it takes time to move through, but there is hope.
Zoe Holohan, mental health advocate and best-selling author of As the Smoke Clears, joins broadcaster Jan Ní Fhlanagáin in a podcast exploring her experience of bereavement, mourning and recovery. Zoe's story is incredible moving; only four days after their wedding in 2018, her husband Brian died tragically in Greek wildfires while on their honeymoon. Zoe herself ended up in intensive care following the wildfires, and couldn't make it home for her dad's funeral when he too passed away suddenly at this time.
Wellbeing in the Classroom
Whether you're a student or teacher, there are lots of things you can do to mind your wellbeing in and out of the classroom. Take a look at some of our self-compassion tips for teachers, listen to our podcast on keeping your mind and body healthy at any age, or get your own wellbeing walk with your classmates going below.
Watch | Student Self-Harm: How to Spot the Signs and What to Do
Self-harm is a sensitive topic, and one that can be hard to understand. It can also be difficult to recognise: young people can engage in self-harming behaviours at different times and for different reasons.
This webinar aims to support teachers and school staff to spot the signs of when a student or young person in their classroom might be self-harming and to know how to respond.
Speakers include Dr Susan Healy of SPMHS, who explains what self-harm is and how we can better understand self-harming behaviours. Sinead Raftery of Pieta also speaks about how to approach students you think may be self-harming and what to do if a student approaches you about it.
Take part | Compassion for Teachers
The last academic year was a particularly tough one for teachers and school staff, which they faced with incredible resilience and commitment to their students. As we enter a new school year, we want to celebrate that and to empower teachers with some tools and skills they can use to be kind to themselves and refresh after facing down so many challenges.
Dr Ellen Butler of SPMHS explores what compassion means and what we can learn from compassion-focused therapy to treat ourselves with empathy and understanding.
Listen | Healthy Minds and Bodies
Fitness isn't just for our bodies; staying active physically helps our minds too. By taking part in sports and community activities, we can also build our relationships and connections with others. Young people – and especially teenagers – long for a sense of belonging and being part of something; while school is an important part of this, joining a local club or team can also be a great way for children and young people to grow friendships and support their physical and mental wellness outside the classroom.
RTÉ's Jan Ní Fhlanagáin is joined by strength and conditioning coach at Shelbourne FC, Davy O'Connor, to talk about his own personal experience of mental health difficulties, how the club supports mental wellness among players and in their community, as well as how, on a personal level, we can all enjoy mental health benefits through sport and exercise.
Their chat shows how being part of a club can contribute positively to a child or adolescent’s life. Coaches and adults working in a community leadership role are, in some ways, similar to a teacher in a classroom: they can help to look out for young people, build trust between people, and create a safe environment for young people to open up or talk about anything that is bothering them.
For children and young people who are new to sports or exercise, or who are shy or worried about taking part, Davy encourages them to try it out and find something that they enjoy, whether it’s running, football, hurling, swimming, or anything in between. It’s not about being the best player or the fastest runner: it’s about enjoying yourself, clearing your head, and knowing you are putting your healthy mind and body first.
Take part | Slow Flow Yoga
Join Rachel Lenny of Earth and Purpose Yoga for a virtual slow flow yoga class. Rachel hosted this relaxing yoga practice together with AVOCA in its gorgeous Mount Usher Gardens, bringing an opportunity to breathe, stretch and be mindful.
Take part | Wellbeing Walk
For World Mental Health Day on 10 October, we invited you to wear your brightest, finest funky shoes and step out into nature to walk for your wellbeing. Getting outdoors is not only good for our physical health, but helps to clear our minds, be present and mindful, and notice lots of lovely moments in the natural world around us.
If you missed this walk, it's not too late: whether it’s a short walk around the block in your neighbourhood, a stroll in your local park, a favourite scenic walk, or even a hike, why not get outside for a walk today?
You might also enjoy doing this mindfulness practice in nature while out on your walk.
Family is a huge influence in our lives: feeling safe and supported with our family is something we all hope for. Families affect how we manage our emotions, build relationships, and learn to care for others, so knowing how to nurture our family wellbeing makes a big difference. During WIMS Live, we looked at how we can support one another through our family networks, as well as sharing some activities we can do together as a family.
Watch | Mental Health Support Systems
When you’re going through or recovering from a mental health difficulty, knowing you have a group of people to support you can be a huge boost and reassurance. Family, friends and carers can be there to listen, to share, and to help you recognise when you might need some extra support. You might also find it helpful to talk with other people who have gone through mental health challenges, sharing your experiences and learning from one another. All these relationships and friendships can make a big difference not only in your recovery, but in managing your mental health long-term.
So how do you build a good support system and what does it feel like to know people are there? Grace Mongey of Faces by Grace; Elaine Donnelly, mental health social worker in SPMHS; and Sean Fitzpatrick, service user representative, join us to discuss.
In this webinar, we hear personal experience of mental health and of how people going through recovery built support systems to help them. We explore the roles of these support systems in recovery, how best to identify your own support needs, and how to communicate your support needs with those around you. The ways families can best support a loved one with a mental health difficulty and access support if needed are also discussed.
Take part | Draw with Don
Artist Don Conroy is known all across Ireland not only for his own love of art, but for sparking that same passion in lots of us, young and old, down through the years. He brings us a very special Draw with Don session, showing us how to draw lots of lovely moments from nature, from birds and trees to his famous owls!
Art encourages imagination and creativity. It gives us a new way to see the world, helps us to notice all the little things around us, and relaxes us by clearing our minds. We hope you enjoy this drawing and sketching session with Don!
Listen | Mental Health Stigma
Mental health stigma can come about because of a lack of awareness and understanding about mental health. It can delay or make it more difficult for people seeking help for their mental health, or lead to people being treated unfairly. While there has been a lot of progress in reducing stigma in recent years, we still have some way to go - and we all have a part to play.
In this podcast, RTÉ's Jan Ní Fhlanagáin chats with Charlotte Frorath, who has lived experience of mental health difficulties and of receiving care in hospital. Jan and Charlotte talk about the impact stigma can have on someone going through mental health difficulties and what we can all do to challenge it.
As well as sharing her reflections on mental health, treatment, and supports available, Charlotte explores how stigmatising beliefs – both external and internalised – can make it more difficult for people to seek help and embrace recovery, and what each of us can do to bring an end to that stigma.
Wellbeing in the Community
For the last week of WIMS Live, we focused on Wellbeing in the Community. There is so much life to be lived in our communities: having a mental health difficulty shouldn't prevent us from making the most of our communities, and they should be places where we can turn for support if we need it.
Watch | #NoStigma in the Community
Some of us may need to get some help and support for our mental health at different points in our lives. Sometimes this is because we are going through a very stressful or upsetting time, such as a family issue, bereavement, job loss or health concerns. At other times, it might be due to changes in how we think, feel or act.
Getting the support we need is really important, but, if we are worried that we might be treated differently or discriminated against, we might be less likely to seek help for our mental health. This worry can come about due to mental health stigma, which, in turn, comes from a lack of understanding about mental health.
As well as impacting how quickly we might talk about how we are feeling or ask for help, this stigma can also prevent us from taking part in our hobbies and community life out of fear of being seen or treated differently. What can we do to change this?
Louise O’Leary, Advocacy Manager at SPMHS; James O’Connor, SeeChange Ambassador; and Jason McGuinness of Shelbourne FC join RTÉ’s Jan Ní Fhlanagáin in a webinar exploring what mental health stigma is, how it feels to experience it and, most importantly, how each of us can become allies in our communities to bring this stigma to an end.
Take part | Sound Bath
Rachel Lenny of Earth and Purpose Yoga brings us a beautiful self-care practice with a sound meditation experience where we can relax to the sound of alchemy crystal bowls. The sound waves of these bowls will bathe and soothe you, helping you to release tension and create space in the mind and body. This is a little ritual of love and recharging, and a chance for a bit of time to ourselves during our busy weeks.
There is no right or wrong way to do this practice: to get started, just find a quiet, comfortable space. You might find it helpful to pop on some headphones to get the best of this sound experience.
Podcast | Mental Health Recovery
We often talk about the journey of mental health recovery – but what does it mean? Recovery is unique to every person going through it, but, at its core, is a personal process of moving beyond or living a healthy, fulfilling life with a mental health difficulty.
One woman, Paula, who has gone through her own journey of recovery joins Jan Ní Fhlanagáin to explore what she does to maintain good mental wellbeing, sharing her own tips and learnings from her experience. Paula looks at the importance of hope and gratitude in recovery and life generally, and encourages others to seek help if they need it.