SECAD recently completed a pilot programme ‘’Wellbeing in the Community’’ in Youghal to help empower people in the area.
The programme for local community members ran in conjunction with the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) as Level 6 Special Purpose Award. Focussing on mental health and resilience, the programme was delivered with key providers working across the HSE including public health nurses, occupational therapists, community health workers and the DSP local offices. Critically, the programme brought service providers together to try to focus on the most ‘disadvantaged areas’ including social housing estates and communities in our area.
Specifically, the eight people participating in the pilot programme from October to December 2017 were from the local area in Youghal. On the course, they focussed on strategies to improve and promote positive mental health. In addition, best practice methods for increasing mental health well-being and resilience were shared and participants were afforded the opportunity to personally reflect on positive psychology and apply it to their understanding of wellbeing.
Crucially, once participants were empowered with knowledge to reinforce their own wellbeing, they were encouraged to be advocates for mental health and enable others in their community. An added spin-off of this programme is that it equips participants and potential community leaders in their community.
Feedback from participants and partners across the sector including the HSE, Grow (Mental Health Movement in Ireland) and Cumann Na Daoine (Youghal Community Development Resource Centre) was very positive.
Comments from participants include:
‘’I really enjoyed the group sessions – we had some great laughs’’
‘’I am considering going back to further education’’
‘’It helped me to come to a very secure place in myself’’
‘’I learnt to become my own best friend’’