'Reflect & Grow' on World Mental Health Day

Flowers in vase on red bench

As the seasons change and autumn sets in, you might be wondering where that year went. It’s certainly been a tumultuous 2020, as we’ve tried to come to terms with the global pandemic happening around us. Fittingly, World Mental Health Day falls on October 10th, and, as Aisling Doherty from Mental Health Ireland explains, it’s an ideal time to reflect on our inner strength and resilience in the face of crisis. 

Reflect & Grow

For this year’s event, the team decided on a theme of ‘Reflect & Grow’. “We came together to look at what we’re collectively facing this year”, Aisling begins. “We decided that at an individual level, the ask is to take a moment to reflect on what you’ve been through and how you’ve dug deep to endure it. What strengths helped you? What made life tick along a little bit easier?”

Couple hugging at window

Accessing Resources

As Aisling explains, demand for her organisation’s services surged in the last few months, as people have struggled with various mental health issues related to lockdown and coronavirus. “For the first few weeks, it was ok”, she recalls. “But then we saw an upsurge in demand for counselling support at the start of May. It was a cracking point for people. I think there’s a similar wave happening now as restrictions return.” With things so up in the air in terms of socialising and travel, it’s natural to feel anxious. Be sure to reach out to a friend / family member, or check out the Mental Health Ireland website if you’re struggling to stay positive.  And remember, all Irish Life Health members have access to our Healthy Minds benefit, providing professionally trained counsellors on hand to talk, 24/7.   

Getting Involved

Aisling’s team also decided on a hands-on project people at home can engage with in the lead-up to October 10th. They’ll be providing ‘plantable’ bookmarks that will act as a symbol of hope as Winter approaches. “The bookmark has wildflower seeds in it”, she explains. “You can plant it indoors or outdoors, then take a moment to reflect as you watch it bloom”. Another resource being made available is a ‘tree of support’, featuring ten county level resources, as well as local programmes you can get involved in. “It’s all about empowering yourself to know where to get support.” 

To request a bookmark (while stocks last), email carmen@mentalhealthireland.ie. Find out more about Mental Health Ireland here

Healthy Minds Benefit

The Healthy Minds benefit is provided by LifeWorks by Morneau Shepell. This is only available to members who are 16 years old and over. If your telephone counsellor deems it clinically appropriate, up to 6 face to face counselling sessions may be arranged through LifeWorks.