Stephen Donnelly, Fianna Fáil TD for Wicklow and East Carlow, has hosted a Wellness Workshop in conjunction with mental health charity Suicide or Survive in Greystones this week.

The event follows on from a coffee morning held at Deputy Donnelly’s office late last year which saw over €1,100 raised for the charity and which was one of the most successful in the country.

Speaking at the event in Greystones yesterday, Deputy Donnelly commented:

‘I am absolutely delighted with the turnout today. With so much interest, the location had to be changed to find a bigger space.

‘Thousands of people across Wicklow are under immense pressure, be it financial, personal or professional, and the Wellness Workshop is an opportunity to step back and learn about steps we can take to support our own mental well-being. Those who attended today will have gained new skills to help them and their family deal with these problems.

‘Today’s event was a real opportunity to bring mental health into the open, and have an honest and frank discussion in Wicklow. One in five people in the county will experience depression at some time in their lifetime, and studies indicate that this is on the increase, in particular for young people. Anyone can have a mental health difficulty, and today’s workshop was about knowing what to do if it does happen to you.

‘It needs to be the start of a larger piece of work. We need to progress key projects such as Jigsaw in Bray, and increase general mental health funding, so that those in need of mental health supports in the country can access them.’

Speaking at the event Gerry Walsh, Fianna Fáil Councillor for Greystones Municipal District commented:

‘It was very encouraging to see the level of engagement and demand in the Greystones areas for yesterday’s workshop. It’s definitely an event we would hope to repeat in the not too distant future. Suicide or Survive have been involved in running these workshops for the last 8 years and they have a huge wealth of experience to share in the field. Caroline Mc Guigan’s story in particular was incredible.

‘Mental health awareness is vital, and something that has not given the attention it warrants, Todays event was a great start, but we need to invest further in this area.’