Research examining the mental health experiences of young people in Mayo has recommended the need to establish a support service for young people to manage their mental health.
The report entitled ‘Developing A Youth Mental Health and Well-Being Support Structure’ was launched yesterday in Castlebar by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny. The research was commissioned by the Mayo Youth Mental Health Group which was established in spring 2009 as a response to the high number of suicides among young people in Mayo.
The Group aimed to explore the feasibility of developing a youth mental health support structure in Mayo and one of the key findings from the entire consultation process is that there needs to be a greater focus on nurturing positive mental health.
The initiative involved over 22 organisations who have worked together to deliver this research
It is hoped the research will identify ways in which local agencies and communities can respond to the needs of young people and to develop a support structure that will meet the mental health and well-being of young people. It will also make a significant contribution to the existing body of expertise and knowledge amongst service and support providers.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Enda Kenny thanked all the participants who took part in the research and said the days of people being reluctant to talk about mental health issues were in the past.
“To the young people from across the ten post primary schools here in Mayo who participated in this study, thank you for sharing your remarkable personal stories. There was a time in Ireland when people were reluctant to discuss personal mental health issues. Thankfully, that was the Ireland of the past. The current generation of young people are far more open and insightful and are keen to address the issue of mental health. This I believe is a very positive development,” he said.
At the launch young people from throughout Mayo performed a series of activities including drama and drumming.
Breda Ruane, Chairperson of the Mayo Youth Mental Health Initiative, said that what they were doing was vital to provide the supports to help young people in the future.
“If we can provide young people with the strategies to keep themselves safe, or to help them cope with the stress that they are living with, we have to provide them with access to real and accessible support. What we are doing here in Mayo is vital because we are putting a support service in place identified as being necessary by young people themselves, and that will support young people, their families and communities who are experiencing mental health stresses,” she said.
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