Promoting Positive Mental Health in Co.Galway: Helplink and SCCUL Sanctuary Organise Family Fun Day Festival

We have another great competition for you, lovely readers! We are offering two free tickets to the Family Fun Day Festival, taking place on Sunday the 10th of September 2017, from 2 to 5 p.m., in the Walled Garden of Kilcornan House, Clarinbridge, Co. Galway. To enter, just follow Positive Life on Facebook or Twitter, share this article, and tag us @positivelife so that we know you’ve done it. A winner will be selected and announced on Friday the 8th of September 2017. Good luck!

Promoting Positive Mental Health in Co.Galway: Helplink and SCCUL Sanctuary Organise Family Fun Day Festival

By Aisling Cronin

On Sunday the 10th of September 2017, Helplink Support Services (in association with the SCCUL Sanctuary) are holding their inaugural Family Fun Day in the Walled Garden of Kilcornan House, Clarinbridge, Co. Galway. The event has been organised to mark World Suicide Prevention Day – which also falls on September the 10th – and aims to promote positive mental health. We spoke to Helplink CEO Lochlann Scott to find out more about the inspiration behind the festival, and what attendees can expect on the day.

This festival is aimed at promoting positive mental health. Can you tell us why you feel that this theme is so important?

Well, the main reason that we created Helplink in the first place, five years ago, was because we were attempting to normalise the discussion around mental health and reduce stigma for those accessing mental health services. The situation is getting better, but unfortunately, for many years there has been a lot of stigma around mental health issues, and we have always been about making sure that these services are accessible. We hope that by holding a family-oriented event, we can bring the concept of positive mental health into mainstream conversations. That is why we are holding this fundraiser.

So how did the idea of a family-oriented event originally come about?

We were trying to think, what would be the best way to promote wider discussions around mental health, and get rid of the stigma behind the issue? We eventually decided that the best way to do that would be to get the whole family involved. The idea was to help whole families have a conversation about what positive mental health means to them.

Can you tell us a little bit about the Walled Garden? It sounds like an enchanting place to me – it invokes fairytale imagery!

It really is a fairytale space, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. I was speaking with Trish from SCCUL Sanctuary one day, as the Sanctuary is located in Kilcornan House. She told me about the walled garden, we went down to see it, and we immediately knew it would be a perfect space for an event like this. There is a little crannóg in the middle of it, where bands can play. On the day, we will have a multicultural choir playing, a local folk singer called Mick Brown, and a jazz band called the Jazz Mongrels.

What other activities will be taking place during the Family Fun Day?

There will be a raffle with some great prizes, a kids’ corner where children can make magic wands and play with hula hoops, a treasure hunt, dancing, and lawn games. We hope it will just be a really fun, uplifting day, packed with fun things to do, and we hope people enjoy it.

So I hear that this is your inaugural event. How are you hoping that the festival will grow and develop in the years ahead?

Well, our organisation runs on some revenue from our low-cost mental health services, but many of our services are free – funded by the government or by local mental health organisations. We have committed to doing one big public fundraiser a year to help us continue with these services, and this is our first attempt at it. We hope that it goes well, and we are hoping to expand on it year on year!

The Family Fun Day is taking place from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday the 10th of September 2017 in the Walled Garden of Kilcornan House, Clarinbridge, Co. Galway. Adult tickets cost €10 at the gate, and are also available online through iDonate.ie – just search for ‘Helplink.’ Tickets for teenagers from the age of 13 to 17 are €5 each, while children under 12 will be granted free admittance. To find out more about Helplink Support Services, visit helplink.ie. More information about the SCCUL Sanctuary can be found at scculsanctuary.com.

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