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Limerick Mental Health Week wraps up after week of successful events

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Limerick Mental Health Week 2016 wrapped up on Saturday after a week of events held throughout the city.

The week was considered a success, with different organisations praising its achievements.

Patrick Fitzgerald, Mental Health Week organiser, said, “The week as a whole was amazing and really highlights the importance of mental health in our lives. I think it is not just the week, but the collaboration of all organisations that give up time and volunteers to make it as big as it was.”

The Millennium Theatre in LIT saw one of the week’s most popular events on Monday night, with over 300 people in attendance for a lecture by psychologist Dr Fergus Heffernan.

A choral evening held in St Mary’s Cathedral gathered crowds on Friday night, with Malcolm Green directing the different choirs participating in the event.

Vice Chairman of Limerick Suicide Watch, Mike O’Mara, spoke about the success of the week, “It’s been fantastic. We have made some great contacts, and we are looking toward building networks between different organisations. It’s very positive for the city.”

“Some of the stigma has been broken down, we have noticed this year,” said Mr O’Mara.

GOSHH personal support worker, Anne Doorley, commented on the benefits of the week in terms of awareness and exposure. “We did get our message out there, throughout the week. At our event in Croom, we could see that it was significant for a few people,” she said.

“If you reach even just a few, it is still really important. It seems that there has been a lot of engagement with people, so I think that that’s really positive.”

Chairperson of GROW, Rob Stephen, praised mental health week and its commitment to progress, “We learn more every year. I think it has gone very well, better than previous years. With the amount of talks that were on, there was a good selection for everyone to get involved in,” he said.

The week finished up with a family fun day on Saturday at Bedford Row in the city centre, with a number of different organisations involved in family fun activities.

Expectations for next year’s mental health week are high, with hopes that it will be “bigger and better”.

“I am so excited about next year having seen the success that we all achieved. We have some amazing ideas already bouncing around and will make sure it is bigger and better than this year,” said organiser Patrick Fitzgerald.

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