‘Mind Yourself’ brings message of hope

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The renowned Discovery Gospel Choir brought their unique and memorable music to the beautiful surroundings of St Brigid’s Cathedral in Kildare, on the evening of Sunday 7th April. The occasion was the launch of the ‘Mind Yourself’ diocesan project for Meath and Kildare – to raise awareness of mental health issues and point people to where they can find support and help.

Aware is one of the national mental health charities. It says that more than 450,000 people in Ireland experience depression (1 in 10) at any one time but many hide their condition and never get help. Aware’s message is one of hope: recovery is possible. It also says that early intervention, as well as ongoing support are very important.

During an interlude in the music  Drew Flood, a representative from Aware, gave a presentation. He talked of how they work to give people hope and encouragement. They have a phone line available 365 days a year, with support groups around the country. He also talked about how the project and the concert helped bring down the wall of stigma that can surround the issue of mental health.

Aware is one of the partners with the dioceses in the ‘Mind Yourself’ project. More information can be found by visiting www.aware.ie

Bishop Pat Storey, bishop of Meath and Kildare, welcoming everyone who attended said: “The issue of mental health affects every family. ‘Mind Yourself’ is about raising awareness.”

Discovery Gospel Choir is Ireland’s leading multi-cultural choir, singing songs of hope from all over the world. They describe their vision as: “Through music, we share our languages, our cultures, and we make a safe space for people to share their stories, develop their talents, and always be met with respect and love.”

The motto of the choir is “Discover Beauty in Everyone”. It’s membership currently spans 14 different nationalities, and they sing in 30 different languages. Through their performance and vision they provided a hopeful message as the ‘Mind Yourself’ project was launched.

The Church’s Ministry of Healing is is also partnering in the project. Another partner, Bishops’ Appeal, is bringing a focus on mental health issues affecting refugees and those in Direct Provision centres.

Any funds raised at the launch event in St Brigid’s Cathedral, which was filled almost to capacity, were donated to Aware.

A number of events are planned through the year, focusing mainly on raising awareness of mental health issues around the dioceses, and signposting people to groups that will be able to help.