Mind your mental health
MentaliTY, the city-wide mental health initiative, geared at transition year, youth reach and community centre students will begin workshops today.
The workshops will run over two days in City Hall. Over 1,500 students are expected to take place in the workshops, the first of its kind in Cork city.
Frank Mulvihill, a guidance counsellor at Coláiste Chríost Rí, as well as a committee member of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors, said that on a day to day basis about 60 per cent of the work he does with students is personal counselling.
"We need to wake up to this. The cutbacks in education are staring us in the face but guidance counsellors are constantly working away in the background with students. We have to be very careful about this, it is a fickle time which is reflected in the students' problems. The two day seminar was filled overnight but mental health problems have increased by an incredible amount over the last ten years and we need to keep on top of that."
CEO of Suicide Aware, Pat Behan, insisted that more must be done to help young people and the problems they are going through.
"Based on research we have done, the number of young persons committing suicide has doubled. 23 per cent of those young men who die by suicide had been out with their friends beforehand," said Ms Behan.
"There are many factors which contribute to young men feeling they need to resort to this such as drink, girls and problems at home."
"Many of them have families who are in crisis because of the recession and they feel that things may be easier for their family if they took themselves out of the situation. The young male will not feel as comfortable talking to someone about his problems as a girl may and you never know what is going on in someone's head. Our findings were frightening"
The initiative is part of an awareness campaign through the Institute of Guidance Counsellors, Suicide Aware and the office of Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Emmet O'Halloran. The Cork Independent and Red FM are media sponsors of the initiative.
If you are experiencing mental health issues contact Suicide Aware on 1850 60 90 90 or see www.suicideaware.ie.