2020 marked the first outing for WIMS Live, our week-long programme of online events and activities to celebrate World Mental Health Day and put the spotlight on mental health.
WIMS Live Launch
We kicked WIMS Live off on Monday, 5 October. As that also marked World Teacher Day, we used the occasion to celebrate teachers and students who have shown incredible resilience and commitment throughout 2020.
Our Ambassador, Bláthnaid Treacy, and Chief Executive Officer of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services (SPMHS), Paul Gilligan, joined us as we went live to Mercy College Coolock to hear from students and teachers on their experiences over the last few months and enjoy a mood-boosting yoga session from their very own school gym.Watch the event here
We all know the difference teachers make in our lives, and, this year, their support has never been more important. To mark this, students from across Ireland sent us special thank you messages to the teachers who have championed mental health and gone the extra mile for their classes.Watch their tributes here
Reading Corner and Meet the Author
We caught up with some of Ireland's most creative and progressive writers for young people. In our Reading Corner, primary school teacher and author Emma Cahill gives a short reading for young readers from one of her popular books. In our Meet the Author series for secondary school students, we meet Louise O’Neill and Dave Rudden to explore their journeys through young adult life, their inspirations, and how writing helped to overcome their own mental health challenges; a link to supports available for anyone affected by the topics raised in their interviews is shared on this page.
Reading Corner | Emma Cahill
Reading from 'Under the Mask', join Emma Cahill as we follow the story of superheroes Blaze, Rustle and Crash as they help 10-year-old Olly recognise and deal with his feelings of anger, sadness and worry. The reading is suitable for all primary school classes.Watch Emma's reading here
Meet the Author | Louise O'Neill
Author of 'Asking for It' and 'Only Ever Yours', Louise O’Neill, talks to us about writing novels for young adults, and how her mental health challenges and life experiences have inspired her writing. She also shares a short reading from her new book, 'After the Silence'.Hear more from Louise here
Young people and mental health
We spent some time during WIMS Live taking a deep-dive on teenager and young people's mental health. From meeting youth mental health advocates and chatting about the issues and concerns which affect teenagers' mental health, to offering practical tips for young people supporting family or friends going through a mental health difficulty, these videos and podcasts aim to help young people in building insight and tools to meet new challenges and navigate new experiences.
Jamie Harrington in Conversation
Jamie Harrington is a 21-year-old youth mental health advocate and community activist from Dublin’s Ballymun. From running community clean-ups and music events from his local youth centre, Jamie has since spoken to thousands of students and social media followers after his story of helping a man in mental health distress went viral. Here, he tells us more.Hear from Jamie here
Supporting Someone with a Mental Health Difficulty
When a person in your life is going through a mental health difficulty, knowing how you can best support them can feel like a bit of a puzzle at first. The team from the Willow Grove Adolescent Unit at SPMHS gives tips for young people and explores ways in which we can be there for those experiencing mental ill-health.Watch the video guide here
Teen Mental Health: Stress, Stigma and Coping Strategies
Jan Ní Fhlanagáin talks to young people about what kinds of things happening in their own lives and the world around them impact on their mental health. They’re joined by Aaron Swift from SPMHS to look at the misconceptions we can have about mental health, and explore coping strategies for dealing with various pressures and concerns.Listen to the podcast here
Talks and webinars
Living a Mentally Healthy Life in 2020
RTÉ's Jan Ní Fhlanagáin; Medical Director of SPMHS, Professor Paul Fearon; psychologist Padraig Walsh; and journalist and broadcaster Barbara Scully look at the mental health impact of living through the COVID-19 pandemic, both from individual and service delivery perspectives. What do these impacts mean for those of us already living with mental health difficulties? What have we learned so far, and how are we coping with long-term realities? And what should we expect from our behaviours, individually and as a society?Watch the discussion here
Wellness and the 'New Workplace'
Whether you're in the office, working remotely, or parenting from work, COVID-19 has dramatically transformed working life in a short space of time. Chief Executive Officer of SPMHS, Paul Gilligan; SPMHS’ Advocacy Manager and registered occupational therapist, Louise O’Leary; and SeeChange’s Barbara Brennan spoke with Jan Ní Fhlanagáin about these changes, sharing practical advice for managing your wellbeing in the new workplace, and pointing to supports and resources for both employees and employers.Watch the webinar here
Science of Mental Health
“It’s the hardware, not the software”: RTÉ 2fm’s Eoghan McDermott speaks with Professor Paul Fearon, Medical Director at SPMHS, to put the biological factors that contribute to our mental health under the microscope. Learn about the fascinating ways that our brains work, and how knowledge about the connections between our biology, genes, emotions and mental health has changed over the years. Later, Eoghan chats with our new ambassador, mental health advocate and all-star Dublin GAA player, Nicole Owens.Click here to watch back
Reflections on Recovery
At different times in our lives, we may need to get some help and support for our mental health. In our Reflections on Recovery podcasts, we meet advocates with lived experience of mental health difficulties to hear their stories. They talk about going through their own challenges and recovery, and speaking out to create greater understanding of and reduce stigma around mental health.
RTÉ’s Jan Ní Fhlanagáin meets Rick Rossiter, an ambassador for SeeChange, who explores his journey through his own mental health challenge and paths to recovery. From first recognising difficulties to learning to live with his mental health, Rick shares his experience of seeking help, going through treatment, and, now, taking action to reduce and overcome mental health stigma.
In the second instalment of this podcast series, Jan Ní Fhlanagáin chats with Marian, the Chairperson of SPMHS’ Service Users and Supporters Council (SUAS), about her journey of mental health. In an honest and moving conversation, Marian reinforces the empowering message that living a full life while managing a mental health difficulty is not only possible, but a right we all have.
Taking some time out of our days for ourselves is so important in giving us space to mind our mental health. We hope you enjoy these wellbeing workshops which are designed to get our days started with a spot of calm and self-care.
“Yoga is not a work-out; it is a work in” (Rolf Gates). Wake up your mind, body and soul to the proven wellbeing benefits of yoga by joining Paul Geoghegan of SPMHS as he gently kickstarts our day with a yoga session for all levels.Watch the session here
“Mindfulness isn’t difficult. We just need to remember to do it" (Sharon Salzberg). Enhance your routine, strengthen focus, and improve overall wellbeing with a beautiful mindfulness workshop from Debbie Van Tonder of SPMHS.Enjoy the session here