Dublin GAA Club taking proactive approach to Mental Health

Following on from the GAA’s Health and Wellbeing themed day back in August for the All-Ireland Football Semi-Final between Dublin and Kerry, one club in the capital are reaching out to their club members to be proactive with their mental health.

St. Oliver Plunkett Eoghan Ruadh GAA Club hosted a ‘Mind Matters’ talk on Thursday night with more than 300 members present to hear guest speakers Oisín McConville (Armagh) Brent Pope (former New Zealand rugby player) and Plunketts and Cavan goalkeeper Alan O’Mara talk about their experiences on dealing with mental health challenges and addiction.

Speaking to GAA.ie about the efforts being made within his own club, St. Oliver Plunkett Eoghan Ruadh chairperson Pat Bolger spoke of the huge appetite within the community to address the issues of mental health and wellbeing in an open fashion.

“The club recognises the importance of looking after our members' mental health as well as their physical fitness.  We hope that this event will lead to us focusing on positive mental health and well-being.  We are extremely lucky to have been able to have high profile guests to discuss their own mental health experiences, and seeing so many of our club members and people from the local community is really encouraging.”

Supporting St. Oliver Plunkett Eoghan Ruadh GAA Club on the night was the GAA's National Health & Wellbeing Coordinator Stacey Cannon.

"Back in May St. Oliver Plunkett Eoghan Ruadh club Executive adopted the GAA's Mental Health Charter showing their commitment to promoting positive mental health throughout the club. A number of initiatives have been taken to activate this message including their 'MindMatters' talk this evening and the distribution of Play in my Boots Packs and LittleThings messages to both their club members and wider community. Tonight showcased how a whole club approach can have such a positive impact on promoting positive mental health."

As part of the efforts to create awareness and an open discussion around mental health and wellbeing, volunteers at Oliver Plunketts created a video (viewable above) which features hundreds of club members all embracing the tag line ‘Plunketts Care’.

For more information or to download some of the GAA mental health resources please visit www.gaa.ie/community or email community.health@gaa.ie.