Former Cork camogie star Anna Geary
When former Cork camogie star Anna Geary was growing up, life was never dull.
With three All-Ireland titles and four All-Star medals under her belt, she knows the importance of looking after mental health.
“We’re nowadays seeing the importance of the mind more. We’re slowly breaking down the stigma”, said Anna.
“I came from a high-performance sport – as an athlete, I would have demaded a lot on myself from within. But I do think pressure is a positive thing when used correctly”, she added.
Around exam time, young people can sometimes step away from sport.
“Unfortunately the world is faster and expectations are more. There is heightened pressure we haven’t seen before.
“I would say to parents: everybody is different but our brains can only take in so much, switch off, there’s no reason why you can’t go out for a run to train with the club.
“But an important thing I would always say is there are many different routes to get to the same destination”.
When it comes to mental health, Anna advises youngsters to tackle it now.
“I say to younger people to work on mental health and fitness now, don’t wait for it to be serious”.
Many young people are now fixated on diet, and Geary thinks there is a lot of responsibility when it comes to children.
“I think parents, coaching and teachers have a massive responsibility with food. We have to be careful with the language we use for kids.
“It’s about eating well most of the time, and allow for wiggle room”.
Anna is really looking forward to visiting Kildare tomorrow evening (Friday 26) where she’ll be speaking about being comfortable in the uncomfortable.
“It’ll be great. There are wonderful speakers on the night, with personal stories.
“I love doing things like this. Making an impact on people’s lives. As clichéd as it sounds, it’s very rewarding”.
Anna will be joined by special guest speakers including former Armagh footballer and mental health campaigner Oisín McConville, Dublin footballer and sports psychologist Kevin McManamon and Larry Murphy, former Wexford hurler.
The event, ‘Be Kind To Your Mind’, will be held in Newbridge Town Hall on Friday May 26.
Admission on the night will be €5 and you will be sure to get your money’s worth.