Fermanagh GAA club hold workshop to help focus on mental health
Lisnaskea Emmett’s GAC recently hosted a suicide and self-harm prevention workshop as the club wants to promote better mental health not just within the club, but in society at large.
“Over the years, Lisnaskea and surrounding areas have suffered greatly due to poor mental health and suicides. Many deaths over the years could be attributed to the lack of appropriate and timely mental health support,” said club mental health and wellbeing manager Paul McGoldrick.
“As a result of conversations in the local community, Lisnaskea Emmetts invited West Wellbeing to Lisnaskea to introduce us to one of their many workshops.
“The workshop on suicide and self-harm prevention presented to us was very beneficial – a very valuable and useful workshop for those who attended.
“The workshop brought together not only members of the Lisnaskea Emmetts GAC, but also members of other sports groups and community members with no affiliation to any sports group.
“It was a clear indication that people locally recognize the seriousness of the situation, in terms of poor mental health and its consequences.
“It was enlightening to hear how the West Wellbeing Forum has grown from strength to strength.”
Paul praised the voluntary organization based in Belfast, which he said provides an important service to the community that various health boards and mental health departments have failed to deliver.
“In our workshop, some shared their personal experience or that of someone they knew, who had sought help for mental health issues, but were met with a brick wall and colossal waiting lists.
“The general consensus was that as a community, through togetherness and a therapeutic process known as ‘open dialogue’, we can help each other. West Wellbeing is an excellent example of this approach.
Paul went on to say: “Among the many things we learned from the workshop, one was that no community, parish, family or individual in Ireland is immune to poor mental health at some point in his life.
“138 years after its creation, the GAA is the most socially important organization in Ireland. In many towns, cities and parishes in Ireland, it is the GAA that connects and unites our communities.
“Therefore, it is natural that as a club, Lisnaskea Emmetts not only breaks the stigma that still surrounds poor mental health, but [seeks] to also provide to his community by educating ourselves on how to make a positive and healthy contribution to society.
“We strongly recommend that other clubs and organizations consider attending such workshops.
“It is possible to use community systems to deal with poor mental health and its consequences.
“We believe our communities have been neglected on this, and we need to build our own knowledge and capacity to deal with the growing mental health crisis,” Paul added.