These days we are sharply focused on promoting positive mental health, which is why the work carried out by organisations like Wicklow Mental Health Association is so vitally important. Based in Wicklow town, it caters for 50 local clients, and serves the community through monthly information evenings and a range of programmes and events.
According to the chairperson, Charlie Burke, the association received €15,500 from National Lottery Good Causes funding between 2015 and 2016 in support of various supports and programmes. In 2015, it received €2,500 for the expansion of its social club, where it purchased craft materials, cookery equipment, physical exercise equipment and gardening items. Word has it that the programmes it subsequently implemented enabled clients to improve their fitness and craft and cookery skills, bringing greatly increased confidence and self-esteem.
It also received €2,000 in 2016 to expand the peer-led social club to include mindfully guided nature walks. Its plans for this funding also include Nordic walking and tai chi in woodlands. €2,000 was received for the delivery of suicide prevention programmes, and €3,000 to provide WRAP (Wellness Action Recovery Plan). This provides clients with a personal plan for recovery to enable them to maintain their own wellness and provide potential to support others.
As managing mental illness can be exhausting and debilitating, €6,000 was received to fund outings and short holidays for clients with limited resources. This included a midweek break at Leitrim Marina Hotel, which included activity days at Lough Key Forest & Activity Park in Roscommon and an outing to Belvedere House in Mullingar. “The outings provided a welcome break for service users,” Charlie explains.
“They felt they were beneficial and improved their wellbeing, as well as enabling them to build positive relationships.”
Approximately 30 cent of every €1 spent on National Lottery games go back to funding for Good Causes in the areas of sport, youth, health, welfare, education, arts and heritage. In total, more than €5 Billion has been raised for Good Causes since the National Lottery was established 30 years ago. In 2016 alone, the National Lottery raised over €210 million for such good causes.