Tallaght Hospital and Community Groups Join Together for Green Ribbon Initiative

Tallaght Hospital recently held a unique and exciting event about the importance of happiness in order to promote positive mental health. The event, entitled How to Stay Happy, took place on May 11th in the Fettercairn Community Centre in Tallaght.

The initiative is part of Tallaght Hospital’s programme of activity for the Green Ribbon campaign on mental health, which takes places throughout the month of May. It also underlines Tallaght Hospital’s continued commitment to providing the best possible care and advice to patients, as highlighted by the 2014 Health Assets and Needs Assessment Report.

Following the How to Stay Happy talk there was an opportunity for those attending the event to meet with various community organisations involved in the promotion of positive mental health and suicide awareness such as Village Counselling Service, Counselling in Primary Care, Pieta House, Jigsaw, Mojo, Mental Health Association, South Dublin Council Sports Partnership, Nurture Counselling, Eve, Relationships Ireland, Foróige, AWARE and See Change.

The host of the event was Dr Siobhán Ni Bhriain, a leading consultant psychiatrist in Tallaght Hospital, with a focus on mental health in later life, and Professor Brendan Kelly, Professor of Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin, Consultant Psychiatrist at Tallaght Hospital and renowned speaker on mental health issues.

In addition to the How to Stay Happy event, the Hospital atrium hosted an information stand on May 10th and 12th from 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm staffed by mental health professionals to answer any questions that members of the public or staff had on mental health. These endeavours are part of the national Green Ribbon campaign which comprises See Change, the National Stigma Reduction Partnership and 90 partner organisations organise a month-long series of events to encourage people to start openly talking about mental health problems.

Providing care and advice on mental health is part of Tallaght Hospital’s commitment to guaranteeing the optimal patient experience. The changing demographics of the hospital’s catchment area and the future challenges that this will entail was highlighted in the 2014 Health Assets and Needs Assessment (HANA) Report. Events such as How to Stay Happy aim to address these changing needs and meet future challenges head on.

Dr Siobhán Ni Bhriain, consultant psychiatrist and Chair of the Medical Board at Tallaght Hospital said;

“This is the first time we have tried to organise an event like this and the reaction from community groups is extremely positive. I believe the event will be a very valuable contribution to the national Green Ribbon campaign and the open conversation we all need to have about mental health, this is essential if we are to ever remove the stigma from it. People experience lots of stresses and strains in their daily lives and therefore is it so important to appreciate the importance of happiness and how to be happy. Positive mental health does not always happen automatically. It is important to work at it every day. With this public talk we hope to be able to provide some useful advice to people on how to do this.”

David Slevin, CEO, Tallaght Hospital, said;

 “At Tallaght Hospital we are committed to ensuring that we continue to meet the challenges of a changing and growing population. Part of this process involves ensuring that there are excellent and accessible facilities for those with mental health difficulties. I hope all who are in attendance at this event derive great benefit from it.”

Community health worker and co-ordinator at the Fettercairn Community Health Project was delighted that such an event like this was organised saying;

“It is so important to know how to be happy and that’s why I am delighted to see an event such as this being organised. I want to thank all those at Tallaght Hospital, in the Fettercairn community and from all other organisations that have helped to make this event a reality. There are many people in the community who struggle with mental health challenges such as depression. I hope that events such as this can offer them some hope for the future. I will proudly wear my green ribbon for the Green Ribbon campaign.”

About Rachel Lynch

Rachel Lynch
Journalist with InTallaght.

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