The COVID-19 virus has been devastating lives across the world, but it threatens more than our physical health. The pandemic’s effects on our mental health are becoming clearer as the months go by, with at least one positive outcome: The issue of our mental health and wellbeing is starting to receive the attention it needs.
KerrySciTech has always promoted Kerry as a hub for science, technology and engineering. We understand that our region’s strength and performance in these sectors depends on the wellbeing of our people.
Read on to find out about supports for mental health and wellbeing in Kerry and how you can take simple steps to safeguard your own wellness.
Mental Health & Wellbeing Initiatives in Kerry
Healthy Kerry is a collaborative project funded by Healthy Ireland that gives agencies in different sectors a platform to reduce health inequalities and improve health and wellbeing in Kerry.
Member agencies include;
- Kerry County Council (KCC)
- HSE Cork Kerry Community Healthcare (HSE)
- Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership (KRSP)
- Institute of Technology Tralee (ITT)
- Kerry Public Participation Network (PPN)
Kerry Mental Health & Wellbeing Fest
One of Healthy Kerry’s key initiatives is the Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest (#kerrymhwfest), which takes place from 10th-17th October 2020. Running since 2018, the festival runs events designed to empower people to engage with the Five Ways to Wellbeing.
What Are the 5 Ways to Wellbeing?
The effects of COVID-19 have underlined the importance of supporting each other’s mental health. One way to do this is to embrace the Five Ways to Wellbeing, which were developed by the New Economics Foundation in 2008 and embraced by Mental Health Ireland:
5 Ways to Wellbeing
In 2008, NEF reviewed more than 400 scientific papers and came up with five key things that can help us feel better. Modelled on the “five a day” message for fruit and vegetables, the Five Ways to Wellbeing is a simple formula designed to make it easy to incorporate wellbeing into their everyday lives.
Now, at a time when people confined to home and social distance, the Five Ways to Wellbeing could give us all a way to cope better:
It is vital to build connections with the people around you to support you during the crisis. Even if you cannot socialise face-to-face, use the phone or online platforms to keep in touch.
2. Be Active
We may be restricted in our movements, but we can still get out for a walk or a cycle. Even stepping into the garden can boost your mood and health. If you can’t go out, you’ll find a host of free activities online. Make sure it’s an activity that suits you and that you will keep up.
3. Take Notice
If the term “mindfulness” makes your eyes glaze over, think of it more as being aware. At a time when we may be concerned about our families, livelihoods, and communities, it is helpful to remind ourselves of our beautiful surroundings in Kerry, to notice small kindnesses, and remain curious about the world around us.
4. Keep Learning
Try something new or advance an existing skill. You can do a course or get a qualification, but the important thing is that you set yourself some kind of challenge and aim to achieve it.
We keep hearing that we are in this together. Keep looking outward and do something kind for somebody else. Joining a community group is a great way to feel part of the wider community and boost your own sense of wellbeing.
Other Mental Health & Wellbeing Supports in Kerry
The important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Here are some of the mental health and wellbeing supports in Kerry:
- Counselling in Primary Care (CIPC)
- Kerry Peer Support Network
- Kerry Lifeline
- Social Health and Education Project (SHEP)
- Kerry Mental Health Association.
KerrySciTech Is Here to Help
KerrySciTech is dedicated to putting positive mental health and wellbeing at the heart of our community. Find out more about the wellness initiatives we support to help you.