The problem of Mens’ health awareness was recently addressed through an information and check up workshops delivered under the Local and Community Development Programme by Donegal Local Development Company. The event took place in the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny on Saturday, June 16th.
The key organisers of this event were Garvan Connelly and Margaret Toner Project Officers with DLDC, John Curran, Manager of Donegal Volunteer Centre and Cathal Monaghan Men’s Development Network (firstname.lastname@example.org), in conjunction with management and staff of Letterkenny CDP.
A large number of organisations were present offering a variety of health advice and check up services. The contributions on the day gave a clear indication that there is a very proactive drive from professionals, community organisations and volunteers to put and keep the issue of men’s physical and mental health in the spotlight.
Service providers offered free diabetic screening as well as auricular acupuncture, checks on blood pressure, stroke prevention and weight. An organic food expert extolled the health benefits of home grown vegetable and fruit. Ballybofey based John Long noted that “growing your food with your own hands also has a hugely positive spinoff for your mental health”.
“Dad’s Matter,” was the slogan of Parentstop, a support provider for families in all aspects of parenting. “Divorce and separation has come to very much to the fore in recent years,” said Angela Maguire, of Parentstop. The organisation endeavours to listen and help both parents and their children through the trauma of separating. Stress, anger and frustration are acknowledged detrimental effects on men’s health effecting personal and work relationships. The information day strongly highlighted that persons under stress were not alone and that support services such as those attending on the day could make a positive impact on men’s health.
The Northwest Men’s Helpline (074-9329300) under the auspices of Action Inishowen offered free confidential support, referrals and counselling. Their work centres on persons worried and anxious about their day to day life. Letterkenny Community Development Project highlighted their confidential harm reduction community based service, START (086-7752142), dealing with the effects of alcohol and drug misuse and access to holistic therapies.
The event confirmed that despite the current difficult times organisations and community activists are working hard to enable people to avail of services which can help and offer support.