'Mental fitness' resource launched for players
The GAA, in partnership with St. Patrick's Mental Health Foundation, designed a mental fitness resource to support the emotional well-being of club players and members.
The 'Play in my Boots' packs - an extension of St. Patrick's successful 'Walk in my Shoes' campaign - aims to de-stigmatise mental health by speaking to players in a sporting language familiar to them. Using the term 'mental fitness' to emphasise the positive nature of our mental wellness, the packs also aim to remind the GAA population that maintaining mental fitness requires work and skill development in the same way as maintaining our physical fitness does.
Supportive advice from players including Alan O'Mara (Cavan), Eoin Cadogan (Cork), Darren O'Sullivan (Kerry), Deirdre Burke (Galway camogie), Conor Lehane (UCC), Valarie Mulcahy (Cork), Seamus Hennessy (Tipperary), and Donegal manager Jim McGuinness bring the packs to life.
The packs, kindly supported by Allianz, include a mobile element allowing users to tune their mental fitness while on the go thanks to a mental fitness app created by ReachOut.com Ireland. A mental health charter is also included which clubs are encouraged to adopt in order to promote an environment and culture that promotes and fosters mental wellbeing for all members.
The 'Play in my Boots' resource is another component develped by the Association in an on-going campaign to support its members' health and well-being.
"We hope these innovative packs better arm our players and members in maintaining their well-being and that they remind each and everyone one of us that we contribute to not only our own mental health, but to the mental health of those around us," said iar-Uachtarán CLG, Liam Ó Néill. "We are indebted to all those who have contributed to these packs and I encourage all our members to use them and help bring their message to life."
Paul Gilligan, CEO of St. Patrick's Mental Health Services, said; "We are delighted to be working on this awareness initiative with the GAA because mental health difficulties impact on every community in Ireland and the GAA plays a significant role in all of these communities. We are confident that 'Play in My Boots' will provide players, coaches, clubs and communities with the tools they need to mind their mental health"
The packs are available to download here #playinmyboots