“It’s obvious the last Government didn’t show a great deal of interest in mental health issues, to the extent that people in Wexford lost their lives as a result,” says Mick Wallace ahead of We Do Mind, a public meeting on mental health services in the county, taking place in the Horse and Hound, Ballinaboola on Friday, May 20th.
“Jane Johnstone is the driving force behind We Do Mind, which I suppose is one part a public awareness meeting to let people know what supports are being provided by voluntary groups and organisations in Wexford, and one part a conference, where these hard working groups get to meet each other and look at how to tackle any deficiencies we may have in mental health supports. So it’s a case of what do we have in Wexford and what do we need?,” Wallace said.
The meeting which is being organised by campaigner Jane Johnstone will include speakers from voluntary groups who are working in the area of Mental Health in Wexford and nationally. It’s also planned to take questions from the public, who may require help and support.
According to Jane: “statistics tell us that one in four of us will present with a mental illness in our lifetime. Sometimes the burden of our challenges become too heavy to carry alone and it is then that we need to ask for help. We need to know it’s okay to ask for help, but we also need to know that the help that we need is there for us. Successive Governments have failed to provide that help and that leads to a sense of powerlessness, where those who have all the power fail us when we are at our most vulnerable. We must remember however, that we have power of our own, power as individuals and power as a community, it is now time for us to use that power and to together drive the change that we want, the change that we need and the change that we all deserve. From a tiny seed, the mighty oak grows…”
Deputy Wallace agreed saying that “ultimately We Do Mind is a powerful opportunity to initiate positive change in how we tackle mental health issues in Wexford both from a political and a community based perspective”.
“In a perfect world we wouldn’t have to do this, but obviously we don’t live in a perfect world. We can give out about the Government and the HSE ignoring the mental health issue, the lack of an acute mental health service in Wexford, our county’s high suicide rate, severe cuts to the mental health budget, but at the end of the day, as a community, we simply need to take action in order to save lives. We have a problem, the Government don’t care, senior management in the HSE don’t care, but we do mind, and now we’re going to deal with it,” said Wallace.
Among the organisations who have been invited to participate in We Do Mind are: Console; Cura; Wexford Rape Crisis Centre; Its Good 2 Talk; Family Life Service; Wexford Local Development Traveller Community Health Program; County Wexford Community Based Drugs Initative; The Cornmarket Project; Aiseiri; Open Minds; New Me, New Ross; Aware; The Collective Sensory Group;, Gorey Family Resource Centre; South End Community Group (Maudlintown); Taghmon Family Resource Centre; Barnardos; Youth New Ross; Maryville Mental Health Centre; New Ross; Eolas Soilear; Wexford Marinewatch; Wexford’s Fight for Acute Mental Health Mental Health Service (campaign); FDYS and Cycle against Suicide .
If any other group or organisation who work in the area of Mental Health are interested in participating they should contact Jane on 086 3717753.