Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Mayo’s Enda Hession and Matthew Ruane with Seán Carrabine of Sligo. The two counties will play a challenge game in Ballina on January 2. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

Mayo and Sligo will play a senior football challenge on Monday, January 2, at James Stephens Park, Ballina. Both counties are joining forces to help shine a spotlight on mental health in a game being held in association with Mayo GAA’s charity partners Mindspace.

Mayo GAA chairman Seamus Tuohy said the County Board was proud of the impact its charity partnership with Mindspace was having and encouraged everyone to support the work of the charity in the coming year.

“Mayo GAA are proud to host this fundraising game involving Mayo and Sligo. We are delighted to play a valuable role in advocating the importance of creating conversations and remembering to reach out and offer support to those around us. One in four of us are affected by mental health issues, which equates to almost the entire stand at a full capacity Hastings MacHale Park, which shows just how vast this issue is,” commented Tuohy.

By playing this game, the aim of both counties is to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues and to encourage individuals to have meaningful conversations with their loved ones.

Mindspace Mayo project manager Peadar Gardiner said the strong community partnership with Mayo GAA continues to spark important conversations about mental health.

“When it comes to your mental health, having a strong network of team-mates is essential, and playing your role goes a long way towards helping everyone get through the ups and downs of life. As we gather with our friends and family to watch Mayo GAA over the coming year, let’s consider how we can support one another, check in, and have each other’s backs,” Mr Gardiner said.

The former Crossmolina and Mayo defender said that sport offers a great platform to connect and support others on and off the field.

“We want to make mental health a part of everyday conversations, to reduce stigma and to encourage support-seeking. I want to thank Mayo GAA for their invaluable partnership as we work together to support the community,” Gardiner said.

Kevin McStay, for whom this will be his first game as Mayo manager, says he is delighted to support this important awareness initiative, stating that the game would be a fantastic opportunity to continue to raise and normalise discussions around mental health.

“On the football field, our players rely on their team-mates, and it’s no different off the field. A strong network of support goes a long way in helping each other navigate the ups and downs of life. It’s OK to not be OK and it’s OK to reach out for help,” commented McStay.

Visit the Mindspace Mayo website to make a donation.

The match will be streamed live with ticket links available to purchase at a later date.

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