New north Kildare mental health service

A north Kildare women’s group has launched a new community-based approach to mental health last week in partnership with Tesco.

A north Kildare women’s group has launched a new community-based approach to mental health last week in partnership with Tesco.

On Thursday, 11 October at the Tesco Cafe in Maynooth, the Leixlip Women’s Studies (LWS) group launched a group aimed at providing local support for people in the community suffering ill mental health.

LWS spokesperson, Ann Weigel said the group is responding to the need for a place for family members and friends of those suffering ill mental health to meet with experienced facilitators and discuss issues relating to their personal experiences, especially bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia.

The launch, which was attended by Kildare North TD, Catherine Murphy, is linked to Mental Health Week.

Tesco has named Aware, the anti-depression group, as it’s Charity of the Year 2012 - 2013.

The support group initiative is endorsed by the Celbridge Mental Health Association. “We’re very happy to participate in this effort by Leixlip Women’s Studies in this valuable programme,” said Michael Cummins.

“If a person lives in a human community, it’s the oldest rule in any civilised society to look after their own. We aim to do just that,” said Mrs. Ann Weigel, team leader for Leixlip Women’s Studies.

Tesco spokesperson, Michelle Mahon, said they were delighted at Tesco to support this great initiative. It’s important that we all work together  to encourage everyone to talk about mental health issues”

Aware has been aided this year by funds raised by the 15,000 Tesco staff across Ireland. These help to fund Aware’s secondary schools’ programme, Beat the Blues, to an additional 16,000 students across Ireland.

This programme helps to create a greater understanding of depression among young people. Aware is also taking applications for a new Life Skills programme Living Life to the Full. This free programme is aimed at providing information and practical life skills training for individuals who experience mild to moderate depression or anxiety.

LWS was established by women in the early 1980s to address the needs of stay-at-home women in a rapidly growing community with few resources. Since that time the group has conducted classes and served as a social incubation centre for other community groups which became self-sustaining. The group sponsors weekly meetings of Aware, the anti-depression charity. 

Aware provides face-to-face, phone and online support for individuals who are experiencing mild to moderate depression, as well as friends and families who are concerned for a loved one.

Trained volunteers are on-hand to provide support in whichever way best suits sufferers or their families.

The Aware helpline is 1890 303 302. Aware website

- Henry Bauress