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The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine welcomes the focus on mental wellbeing at the beginning of Mental Health Week 2020

Today October 10th is World Mental Health Day, which marks the beginning of Mental Health week.  The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises World Mental Health day on the 10th October each year as an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world.  The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is particularly aware of the impact of the current pandemic on the sectors for which it has responsibility and on the people, whose dedicated work has enabled these sectors to continue to operate.

If ever there was a time to focus on positive mental health and wellbeing, it is now.  Covid- 19 has impacted on all aspects of life since early 2020.  Many people have lost loved ones as a result of the pandemic and in other circumstances, with the added sadness and stress of not being able to say goodbye in the usual way. This can add to the natural and normal grief experienced by family and friends at this time.

As people navigate their way through this pandemic, many will have experienced anxiety, fear, self-isolation, financial worries, stress and perhaps loss of independence.  This can be a particular concern in rural communities.  It is important to remember that a certain level of anxiety is a normal and natural human response and acceptance of this can go a long way towards wellbeing and resilience.

Staying connected with family, friends, neighbours and colleagues is vital to mental wellbeing at this time.  Virtual contact has become the “new normal” for many people with the changed work environment and many employees now working remotely and Covid-19 restrictions preventing actual “get togethers”. It is important at least to continue to have telephone conversations.

Mental Health week raises awareness around mental health and wellbeing, but it is of course important that people are mindful of their mental health and wellbeing throughout the year.

Some Tips to look after your mental wellbeing:

  • Exercise – keeps one fit and results in a general boost in mood and wellbeing.
  • Eat regularly – Eat healthy nourishing foods, being mindful of the food pyramid.
  • Keep up to date with the news and COVID 19 developments but try to have maybe one news/current affairs source each day and build in some time for humour and fun.
  • Reflect on your own growth and the resilience you have built in these difficult times.
  • Take care of body, mind, spirit and connection with others.

At various times in one’s life journey, thoughts and feelings can become overwhelming, and it may be then time to seek help and support.  Asking for help is a brave step, it takes courage and strength to ask for help, but for many people taking that first brave step can lead to a life where day to day ups and downs and life events are met with acceptance and resilience.

 

Note for Editors:

Support is available at:

Mental Health Ireland   -                                       www.mentalhealthireland.ie

Aware   - Depression, Bipolar and Wellbeing support         www.aware.ie

Pieta - Preventing Suicide and Self-Harm                          www.pieta.ie

Samaritans – 24-hour emotional support to anyone experiencing distress, despair or suicidal thoughts.      Tel: 1850 60 90 90

 

Date Released: 10 October 2020