A Youth Mental Health Seminar in Bray was held in the on Thursday, November 21.
The seminar was organised by the Bray Partnership and the Be Well Bray group. Participants at the seminar included local teachers, school principals and people involved in youth work and the health services.
Speakers included Simon Harris TD, co-convenor of the Cross Party Group on Mental Health, Dr. Tony Bates from the youth mental health organisation Headstrong, and Grace McManus from Be Well Bray.
Speaking after the seminar, Deputy Harris said, “It is so encouraging to see the community come together on such an important issue as youth mental health.
“It was great to see local professionals from schools, youth groups and the health service gather to talk about what can be done in communities to foster this positive attitude to youth mental health.
“I used my contribution to outline how we need to adopt a whole-school approach to inform and educate young people at a much younger age and in an age-appropriate manner about their mental health, the need to mind it and support it just like their physical health. I outlined a research document that the Cross Party Group had commissioned on various educational models used in Ireland and internationally in this regard and I look forward to further discussing this with local schools.
“I also took the opportunity to outline to the seminar, the Bill which I have co-written in the Dail called the “Mental Health (Anti-Discrimination) Bill 2013” which aims to update our Statute Book by removing discriminatory or stigmatising references to mental illness. I expect this Bill to be debated in the Dail early in the New Year.
“We are lucky to live in a community where so many positive initiatives are being undertaken. There is an onus on us all to support these initiatives and play our part.”