Leonard Kelly, a trained Counselling Psychotherapist and Life Coach is a long term advocate for the need for investment in Mental Health and Wellness Services nationally. Recently, he has been actively involved in fundraising and awareness building of local counseling services in Wexford, as a founding member, and first chairperson of Friends of Its Good 2 Talk. His vision as a founding member of CommunityMinds is the creation of an opportunity for ordinary, non-clinical individuals to make a real and positive impact on the mental health and wellbeing of their community. This is being done through the specialised training and networking of CommunityMinders.
Leonard believes that “Street by Street, Estate by Estate, Club by Club, Business by Business, we must reduce the stigma, and give members of our communities the skills to help others who may be facing a mental health issue”
Vincent Byrne is a campaigner for positive emotional wellbeing. For some years now as an advocate, blogger and public speaker he has attempted to break the silence and stigma surrounding emotional wellbeing/mental health issues. He believes the larger community must engage with and take ownership of our collective emotional wellbeing at home, at work and throughout our communities. “Poor mental health is isolating. Why would a community choose to be silent in response?” he asks. He believes that CommunityMinds™ can help equip our community with the language and skills to assist in the care of our emotional wellbeing and that this community knowledge and ‘buy in’ is essential to have positive mental health outcomes.
Vincent is workplace Pillar lead for Cycle Against Suicide. He has spoken and advocated in communities and workplaces throughout the island of Ireland.
It's easy just to know that some things need to change, for example the historical beliefs and stigma around mental health. How can that change happen? Do we simply wait around until change knocks on the door or collectively do we step forward and make even a small difference.
That small difference made by even one individual is of course important, but what if it was multiplied by a larger group? That, I believe, has the real power and the collective energy to effect real change.
Getting a Community together, equipping them with the skills to be a confident voice in their community whether it be within their own social circles, local sports club or even the local bingo group, now thats progress on a large scale.
This is where CommunityMinds™ can make a real difference, by growing connections among the daily interaction within the community, by day in the workplace and by evening in social circles.
Alan Doolan is an enthusiastic proponent of effecting positive change in the area of Mental Health, specifically the communication in and of the subject. He believes the current system is substantially ill-equipped to deal with the effects that ‘bubble up’ from unaddressed everyday life situations.
“Not only is the disparity between public and private health services even more acutely evident than in general health services, but if even the private avenues are so difficult to navigate by those when in need, that a real on-the-ground solution is vital to begin assisting the individuals in our society”.
“To give a simply analogy, CommunityMinds™ for me reflects the old saying ‘A stitch in time saves nine’, in other words, that the positive engagement of an initiaitve like CommunityMinds™ can have on society as a whole, will indeed reduce the number ciritcal incidents that effect each and every one of us whether directly or indirectly. CommunityMinds™ aims to function like a “supportive partner” that not everyone in need is lucky enough to have on their side and in their corner.