MindMatters Update

Share this story

MindMatters CoI, the Church of Ireland’s mental health promotion project, will mark its third year with a major all-island conference in Dublin of 20th October. The project is delighted that the keynote speaker at the conference will be the Most Rev Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.  Whilst booking a place is essential, all are welcome to attend this free event. 

MindMatters was launched on World Mental Health Day 2020 with the aim of increasing awareness of mental health within the Church and promoting a greater understanding of mental health issues. 

The project began by commissioning extensive research, including the largest survey on mental health attitudes ever carried out by a Church on the island.  The results of the survey and focus groups provided an evidence-based foundation for subsequent activities.

Following on from the research, MindMatters organised a series of Mental Health Awareness training sessions, attended by, among others, all 12 (at the time) members of the House of Bishops.  This enthusiastic and visible support from the Church leadership has been a significant contributor to the success of the project to date.  Over 400 people have attended training at the time of writing. 

The third phase of the project has been the provision of ‘seed funding’ to a total of 74 local initiatives spread throughout the island of Ireland. Projects in our own diocese include:

A project that all parishes are encouraged to follow is the ‘Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing’. As the name implies, this programme consists of five simple steps we can all take to improve our mental health and wellbeing. 

The five steps are:

  • Connect: Connect with the people around you: family, friends, colleagues and neighbours at home, work, school or in your local community.
  • Be active: Go for a walk or run, cycle, play a game, garden or dance.
  • Take notice: Be observant, look for something beautiful or remark on something unusual.
  • Keep learning: Don’t be afraid to try something new, rediscover an old hobby or sign up for a course. 
  • Give: Do something nice for a friend or stranger, thank someone, smile, volunteer your time or consider joining a community group.

The conference marks the end of Phase One of the project, made possible by the generous sponsorship of Benefact Trust. It is free to attend, includes a hot lunch, and the organisers guarantee that everyone will be back on the road by 4.00 – in plenty of time to watch the rugby! To book your place please register here