Tuesday, May 19, 2020

A leading national mental health and suicide prevention charity is offering a series of daily live ‘wellness webinars’ to support people in Mayo with their mental health.

Suicide or Survive, with the support of the HSE and the National Office for Suicide Prevention, say the interactive webinars have already been proven popular with hundreds of people tuning in from all over Ireland.

Recently released figures  from the Central Statistics Office reveal why investment in wellbeing at this time is particularly important. The figures show a huge drop in overall satisfaction with life during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many relationships appear to be under strain. The number of people who said they were highly satisfied with their personal relationships fell from 60 per cent in 2018 to 42 per cent last month. More than a quarter reported feeling lonely over the past four weeks and nearly a third reported feeling downhearted or depressed. Other issues such as rising stress levels, increased alcohol consumption, poor diet and a lack of exercise appear to show cause for concern.

According to Suicide or Survive acting CEO Robert Carley, it has never been more important to invest in our wellbeing.

“The past few weeks have been very difficult for so many people, especially those who may have already been struggling with their mental health. Many familiar things are on hold, normal supports are not accessible and networks that we usually rely on are for now just out of reach. We see mental health and overall wellbeing as something worth investing in for everybody, regardless of whether you are struggling or not at this particular time. I think it’s never been more important to invest in our wellbeing.”

Mr Carley said Suicide or Survive normally travels the country offering various mental health and suicide prevention programmes but decided to move much of its work online in the early weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The response has been incredible. People are tuning in from all over Ireland on a daily basis. Our trained facilitators are offering a safe, welcoming and interactive experience that allows participants to receive practical tips to support themselves and their loved ones from the comfort of their own home. This has been particularly important for people who might be feeling isolated, as well as those who can’t generally travel to attend workshops and events” he stated

The online webinars last for approximately an hour and are freely available to all groups. All that is required is a decent internet connection to allow access from a phone, tablet or laptop. Participants need to register in advance at www.suicideorsurvive.ie and will then receive a link to their email. It is not necessary to turn on your camera as the only person on screen is the facilitator. Participants can, however, interact with questions and responses via a moderated chat box.

For more information see www.suicideorsurvive.ie/sos-webinars

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