The #littlethings campaign highlights the importance of protecting and nurturing one’s mental health. This is a national mental health and wellbeing campaign run by the HSE’s National Office for Suicide Prevention and a coalition of over 25 partner organisations.
This positive mental health and wellbeing campaign believes we all experience difficult times in our lives, and that when we do; there are little things that can make a big difference to how we feel.
Part of the #littlethings campaign is putting local awareness initiatives in place that will help improve people’s mental wellbeing through simple practices. In conjunction with this national campaign, a local initiative is planned in Roscommon. This is a promotional campaign prior to and during the Connaucht Senior Football Final in Pearse Stadium, Galway, between Roscommon and Galway on Sunday 10th July, highlighting positive mental health. There will also be a presence on social media during the game and on the half time stadium screens. The campaign is being run in conjunction with the National Office of Suicide Prevention, Roscommon GAA and the Health Service Executive. This awareness campaign is focusing on the mantra, “Reduce your alcohol and a great night can become a good morning.”
Tony Canavan, HSE Chief Officer for CHO 2, added ”We are delighted to have the support of the GAA with the #littlethings campaign and we both teams the best of luck on Sunday. The littlethings campaign helps reduce stigmas sometimes associated with mental health and highlights the importance of protecting one’s mental health. The HSE fully supports campaigns that help promote positive mental health and reduce death by suicide. We are delighted to have taken part in the development and rollout of this campaign.”
John Meehan Area Business Manager for Galway/Roscommon Mental Health Service notes “Looking after our mental health is a cornerstone of improving the health of our people. It is as important as physical health. As a service we have been putting the structures in place to try to ensure that people get the right type of mental health treatment in the right place and above all at the right time. We have developed services in primary care for those who have mild and moderate mental health needs. We are continuing to develop care for those who are acutely unwell. We are finally seeing a breakthrough in some of the recruitment challenges that didn’t allow us to provide as extensive a service as we would like. We are committed to replacing the old mental hospital and plan to construct a new purpose built facility in Galway City to replace older units in Ballinasloe and on the University Hospital site. One size doesn’t fit all in mental health and the range of services reflects this. As part of the suicide strategy, we need to connect with ourselves, our families, our communities and the services that are on offer.”
Mick Rock, Provincial President for Connacht GAA said “At some stage of our lives we may all struggle emotionally, The GAA throughout Connacht has always prided itself on being there for its members in times of need and we are supportive of both the national strategy “Connecting for Life and the #littlethings campaign”.
Director of the National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) Mr Gerry Raleigh said, “Our focus is to reduce suicide. ‘Connecting for Life’ provides clear direction. We have developed the strategy by following a collaborative, inclusive and evidence informed pathway. We must now move into focused action and be accountable for what we do to reduce suicide in Ireland. We recognise that we cannot do this alone, no single agency, no single Government Department, no single individual can reduce suicide on their own. Therefore, we must ensure that we work together to achieve our shared and attainable goal for our nation.”
Improve your mental health and wellbeing
There are some simple, evidence-based little things that can make a big difference to how a person thinks and feels.
The ‘little things’ campaign has three key messages to share:
We all experience life’s storms – the day-to-day difficulties that are an ordinary, everyday part of life. Things like stress, grief, and feeling down, worried or anxious.
There are things that you can do for yourself and others that will have a positive impact on how you feel and how you cope.
You can find out more about the #littlethings and about mental wellbeing on www.yourmentalhealth.ie
Here are the #littlethings that can make a big difference to our mental health and our wellbeing:
Keeping Active – being active every day, something as simple as a walk, is proven to have a positive impact on your mood.
Talking about your problems – problems feel smaller when they are shared with others, without having to be solved or fixed. Just talking about it will do you good.
Looking out for others – Lending an ear to someone else in trouble, or catching up with someone who seems distant, can change their day, or their lives. You don’t have to fix it for them – just listening is a huge help.
Doing things with others – Taking part in a group activity that you enjoy is proven to have a positive impact on how you feel, be it a game of football, joining a choir, volunteering.
Eating healthily – A regular healthy, balanced and nutritious diet will help both your physical, but also your mental health, and have a positive impact on how you feel.
Staying in touch – Catching up with friends and family is good for our mental health, reminding us that we’re part of a community, and having a positive impact on how we feel.
Drinking less alcohol – For the average Irish drinker, reducing alcohol will have a positive impact on their health and mental wellbeing, making it easier to cope with day to day difficulties and stresses.
Sleeping well – Getting a good night’s sleep of 7 or 8 hours, as often as you can, will have a positive impact on how you feel. Protect your sleep if you can, it will do you good.
To see the #littlethings that work for others, and to share the little things that work for you, see the @littlethingshub on twitter , and www.yourmentalhealth.ie. It’ll do you good, and could help someone else.