RESEARCH has identified a quadrupling of mental health problems in Ireland since 2017 and shows that almost 50% of people would not tell their family/friends about their mental health difficulties.
The startling findings were highlighted at the launch of the Green Ribbon campaign for 2021 which aims to promote a national conversation about mental health in Ireland in order to end the mental health stigma and discrimination.
Wearing a green ribbon — an international symbol of mental health awareness — shows others that people are open to starting positive conversations about mental health.
See Change Programmes leader Barbara Brennan was joined by the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Colm Kelleher, and the Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler, to launch its ninth annual Green Ribbon campaign.
Speaking about the importance of ending mental health stigma, Barbara Brennan, said they are concerned that a significant number of people, particularly young people, still consider that mental health problems should remain hidden.
“We want to encourage people to talk about their problems,” she said.
The Lord Mayor added: “Now more than ever, we need to start having meaningful conversations about mental health and taking the time to educate ourselves on the different mental health illnesses.
“The Green Ribbon campaign is a great initiative to help prompt open and honest conversations about mental health,” Cllr Kelleher added.
To take part in the campaign, people can pick up a green ribbon in participating Boots stores, Iarnród Éireann stations, AIB branches, or eir stores.
See Change is a project of Shine, a charity that supports people affected by mental health illness. In conjunction with the campaign, Shine’s exhibit ‘Steps of Hope Cork’ will be displayed on billboards across the city this month. The exhibition is a collection of creative works by people who have experienced or are on their journey to, mental health recovery.