So this blog post is a little different to the rest. Today I want to write about Aware and the brilliant services they provide to people in Ireland and how they are ''Your supporting light through depression.''
In Ireland and all over the world, mental health illnesses are common yet many people hid their illness in shame and embarrassment. It's perceived to a 'weakness of character' and a 'fatal flaw' of a person. It doesn't have to be this way, and Aware have been and still are working hard to break down this stigma that has dominated Ireland for too long.
From their website it's easy to access information about mental illness such as depression, with startling statistics that ''depression affects 450,000 in Ireland at any one time'' That is A LOT of people, it's not just a number, their real people with lives, families and friends. The website is clear and makes finding information on depression easy and has lots of useful links.
Aware also have a #BeatTheBlues campaign which is a free programme for secondary schools in Ireland. #BeatTheBlues is a positive mental health campaign for senior-cycle students in secondary school. Just last Monday I attended the programme as every Sixth Year student in my school had been attending at different times throughout the week.
I can honestly say it was two class periods well spent. We received a booklet and discussed 'The Coping Triangle' and how to form a coping sentence from using your concerns. I found the coping sentence so effective as I'm in Sixth Year, I'm really worried about getting good test results and achieving all my goals in the Leaving Cert next June. I found that writing down my thoughts, feelings and actions so helpful to articulate my worries about school and my future.
I felt that the programme was brilliant to attend, especially early into Sixth Year, it has since alleviated my stress with studying and the breathing technique we learnt has been quite useful too. We also got to keep the booklet which I've been reading in my spare time and made me realise that I don't have to study 24/7, it's better to study effectively for a short time, rather than study badly and not absorb information for 6 hours straight. It's better to take a break and do something you want to do, like write a blog post!
Aware also have a campaign video here which features graffiti artist Hyerografx and accurately portrays how mental health is so important to us all.
In the midst of studying for exams, it's important to take time to relax and rest :)
I hope you all enjoyed reading this blog post, if you want to find out any more information about depression or Aware, here is their website. There's lots of easily accessed information and remember, it's okay not to feel okay.
Stay Strong, Happy & Fearless!