Today at the Mansion House, Dublin, Irish Red Cross Youth launched a new Positive Mental Health Awareness resource, aimed at empowering young people to take charge of monitoring and protecting their own mental health. Following this morning’s launch, the resource will be rolled out to the charity’s 1000 youth members along with youth groups around the country.
Speaking at the launch, Mr David Walsh, Positive Mental Health Programme Leader at the Irish Red Cross, stressed the importance of supporting Ireland’s young people, stating that “More than 9000 people in Ireland were admitted to hospital due to self-harming in 2012. That’s 9000 people in Ireland, which we know of, in need of support. There are thousands more young people who we do not know about, who need our help and guidance”.
The Irish Red Cross Youth resource pack provides practical and simple steps to help young people recognise the impact that their environment and lifestyle can have on their mental health. It highlights the need for regular exercise, a healthy diet and rest, whilst also stressing the role that the support of friends and family can have in assisting with positive mental health. The resource pack is designed to be used as part of a combined programme of discussion and practical skills within a group work setting.
With a network of youth groups around Ireland, Irish Red Cross Youth will provide the resource for its members, aged between 5 and 25 years old, with the aim of enabling them to pass on the skills they have learnt to their friends. Chairman of the Irish Red Cross Youth working group, Darren Ryan, explains, “Empowering young people creates a multiplier effect across communities, where young people become informal peer educators and pass on the knowledge, advice and practices they have learned”.
Irish Red Cross Youth members take part in local and national activities aimed at empowering young people with skills and training in areas such as first aid, personal development and international and cultural understanding. To find out more about Irish Red Cross Youth or to enquire about the Youth Mental Health Awareness resource see www.redcross.ie/youth.