Council supports ‘Green Ribbon’ campaign to end mental health stigma
Clare County Council is encouraging people in Clare to show their support for the See Change ‘Green Ribbon’ campaign to end mental health stigma and discrimination.
See Change is an organisation dedicated to ending mental health stigma. Its national Green Ribbon campaign runs throughout the month of September and aims to get as many people as possible talking about mental health to help end stigma and discrimination.
According to See Change: “By wearing the Green Ribbon – an international symbol for mental health awareness – you show you are committed to influencing positive change. You don’t need to be an expert to start talking about mental health or have all the answers. Sometimes the most helpful thing you can do is to let someone know you are there for them and simply listen. Let people know you are open to having a conversation by wearing the Green Ribbon.”
Stigma is a significant problem for people who experience mental health conditions and has been identified as one of the most difficult aspects of living with a mental health condition for both the person and their families, according to See Change. The organisation points out that stigma is recognised as a barrier to the recovery process as people fear being labelled as mentally ill, which can lead to delay or avoidance in seeking help.
Áras Contae an Chláir was illuminated green on the first weekend of this month (3rd-5th September, 2021) to highlight Clare County Council’s countywide support for the Green Ribbon campaign.
Green Ribbons are available at many locations around the county, including all Clare Libraries.
Cllr PJ Ryan, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, said: “See Change’s annual Green Ribbon campaign reminds us of the importance of talking about mental health all year round. Wearing our Green Ribbons this month provides an opportunity to talk more openly in society about mental health. This helps our communities around Ireland combat stigma and discrimination.”
Karen Fennessy, Healthy Clare Coordinator, said: “Mental health is a key priority in the Healthy Clare 2019-2021 strategic plan. Under the Government’s Healthy Ireland programme, communities across County Clare have been able to access funding specific to promoting mental health and wellbeing in Clare.
“Mental health is a crucial part of our overall health, and it is important that we talk more openly about it. See Change’s Green Ribbon campaign is a vehicle for promoting conversations in our communities on mental health, making it more acceptable for those suffering from mental health problems to seek help, learn to cope, and get on the road to recovery.”
Michael Collins, HSE’s Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention, Mid-West Community Healthcare, said: “The ‘Connecting for Life Mid-West 2021-2024 Suicide Reduction Strategy’ (in development) supports the Green Ribbon stigma reduction campaign. Reducing the stigma attached to mental health is an important part of the strategy. We are delighted to support Clare County Council and Clare Libraries in promoting the Green Ribbon campaign as raising awareness of how we all can play a part in stigma reduction and improving mental health.”
Helen Walsh, Clare County Librarian, said: “Clare Libraries are delighted to host the See Change Green Ribbons in all of our library branches in Clare for the month of September. We have a large selection of mental health and wellbeing books available to our members both in branch and online through BorrowBox.
“Please do pop into your local Clare library branch and pick up a Green Ribbon and a book or ask for them to be added to your next book delivery service.”
To learn more about stigma, visit: www.seechange.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/See-Change-Wha.pdf
To find out more about participating in the Green Ribbon campaign this September, visit: www.seechange.ie
Pictured are Helen Walsh, Clare County Librarian, and Michael Collins, HSE Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention, Mid-West Community Healthcare. See Change Green Ribbons are available in all library branches in Clare for the month of September.
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