Mental health has been a major issue for many people from all brands of life during the past year among every age group due to restrictions.
Ashbourne Suicide Awareness and Prevention (ASAP) is there for those needing support as they cope with the mental issues the past year has caused for a large portion of people. On their website, https://asapmeath.ie/, there is links to several helplines such as Pieta House or Samaritans and other support services regarding mental health.
Starting in August 2018 after a friend of Eugene Kennedy died due to suicide, it aims to raise awareness and create a community that supports those in need.
“I was standing on the side-lines all the time shaking hands with people and I felt there had to be something done,” says Eugene Kennedy, Chairperson of ASAP. “There’s a gap between someone on the border of getting counselling and heading down that road. So we want to intervene to catch them at an earlier stage, give them encouragement and… get it out in the air.”
people of all age groups are affected by psychological strains so events catering for both older and younger groups are organised to cater for the largest amount of people possible.
ASAP focuses on ‘three pillars’, Education, information, and Inspiration, to raise awareness and support those in need. Training and facilitating workshops are provided to raise awareness and share information on Mental Health among the local community.
Guest speakers either from the organisation or others involved with mental health support share their personal experiences, giving advice to those in need in the process.
“I’m involved in the rugby. The amount of young people that come up to me afterwards and say Eugene thanks for giving me the encouragement.”
through regular events, social media, poster campaign and working alongside local businesses Informing members of the community of services available to them. Encouraging people to talk about Mental Health, removing stigma and creating supportive relationships is also a major part of what ASAP do for the community.