Limerick Shines a Light on the River for this year’s Mental Health Week

Yesterday evening, October 8, the Shine a Light on the River event brought people from all over Limerick to the river Shannon to raise awareness on mental health.

Shine a Light on the River was a collaborative event organised by Jigsaw, Limerick Mental Health Association, Limerick Suicide Watch, and 15 other organisations as part of Limerick Mental Health Week 2018, which runs from October 4 – 13.

The event, which took place from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm, attracted crowds to the three bridges of  the River Shannon in Limerick city to enjoy a procession of boats from various clubs.

Over 20 illuminated boats, with one containing the Liam McCarthy cup, looped up and down the Shannon to “shine a light” on the river, and spectators were encouraged to bring torches or flashlights on their phones to equally brighten up the river bank.

Students of Limerick Institute of Technology, Mary Immaculate College and University of Limerick came together to steward the event and also handed out torches on site so that everyone could take part.

UL Student Volunteers at the event. Photo: Maxine Bramley, Limerick Voice

Families and friends cheered and clapped and flashed their lights as the parade of boats made their way up and down the river and the three bridges lit up as the evening dimmed.

In attendance of the awareness raising event was Metropolitan Mayor Daniel Butler, who said that the event was important for the week that’s in it as it’s about “reclaiming the river when hope is lost” and said it’s a way of “reclaiming mental health for Limerick”.

Crowds gathered on Limerick’s bridges to watch the procession of illuminated boats. Photo: Maxine Bramley, Limerick Voice

Also in attendance was Limerick Mental Health Week ambassador, Meghann Scully, who said: “We are all here with our lights lighting up the river to make it look absolutely spectacular tonight. I think it’s so amazing to see so many people from Limerick city and county council and all around to be here tonight for this very special occasion.”

Meghann said that the river often has a negative associations, so she was glad that there was “such good atmosphere” at the event and said it is “finally time that we really looked at mental health as something that needs to be taken seriously and to shine a positive light on everything that’s going on.”

Metropolitan Mayor Daniel Butler, Meghann Scully and Dr Jennifer McMahon of UL. Photo: Maxine Bramley, Limerick Voice

Limerick Mental Health Week

Limerick Mental Health Week has been taking place since 2005 and has since then tried to promote positive mental health within its communities. It does this through raising awareness on mental health, highlighting services available and collaborating with all organisations that advocate mental health in Limerick.

For more information on what’s happening at this year’s Limerick Mental Health Week click here

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