The growing number of teenage suicides in Ireland in recent years has highlighted the lack of access to mental health services for young people in the country.
In light of this gap in Ireland’s mental health services, it is good to be able to report that a youth mental health service is about to start in Mayo, providing support for young people that is both accessible and youth friendly.
Mayo Youth Mental Health Initiative (MYMHI) has secured funding to commence a youth mental health service in Mayo. Initially, this service will be based in Castlebar, with a view to develop outreach supports to throughout the county.
Mayo Youth Mental Health Group aims to promote person-centred supports for the 15 to 25 years age group, which foster the positive mental health and well-being of young people in County Mayo through an inter-agency and partnership approach.
It is planned that this facility will open its doors to young people in 2014 and the project will be resourced by a qualified team of professionals in this area. Currently a suitable premises is being sourced and recruitment of staff will commence shortly.
In 2011, the Group, which is chaired by Breda Ruane, commissioned research to find out what young people in Mayo needed to ensure positive mental health. This report was launched in April 2012 by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
According to Ms Ruane: “The key recommendation arising from the research was the need to establish a support service for young people that is accessible, youth friendly, countywide and effective in helping young people maintain good mental health.
“We are delighted that we can now make this dream a reality and we look forward to opening our doors in the coming months,” Ms Ruane added.
Pictured above: Flashback April 2012: An Taoiseach Enda Kenny pictured at the launch of the Mayo Youth Mental Health Initiative Report of “Developing a Youth Mental Health and Well Being Support Structure for County Mayo” in the Welcome Inn Hotel, Castlebar, with MYMHI Research Working Group/ Sub Committee and Youth Representatives. From left: Jeananne Garavan, HSE West; Eadaoin White (Youth representative); Catherine McCloskey, South West Mayo Development Co; Breda Ruane Mayo VEC; Taoiseach Kenny, Ed Gannon, (Youth Representative) and Sarah Sheridan, South Mayo Schools Completion Programme. Photo: Michael Donnelly Photography