A VIBRANT new mural, with a mental health and wellbeing theme, has been unveiled at the Lough, on the island site used annually for the Christmas crib.
The mural is the work of young members of the Southside Youth Forum, and its completion was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ryan Long of the Ballyphehane and Greenmount Youth Project, was one of the young people who came up with the idea of the mural, and he told The Echo a lot of work and thoughtwent into the project.
“We got a group of youth together from Coláiste Éamann Rís, and the girls’ Presentation Ballyphehane, and the Greenmount and Ballyphehane Foróige group, and we all came together and we wanted to raise awareness of mental health, and the importance of talking about mental health,” Mr Long said.
Grainne O’Connell, project administrator at the Ballyphehane/Togher Development Project CLG, said the mural was a credit to the young people who had worked on it.
“The mural started as an idea from the Southside Youth Forum and they wanted to highlight mental health and what that means to them,” Ms O’Connell said.
“It’s very colourful, it’s a beautiful piece, and they started it before the pandemic, but the pandemic delayed its completion until the last few weeks.
“Cork City Council has been fabulous, in that they have allowed the mural to be displayed on the island where the crib is put up every Christmas,” Ms O’Connell said.
“The whole ethos of the Southside Youth forum is to give young people a voice within the community and to highlight that they have something valuable to say in their own communities.”
Ryan Long said he believed it was important that young people struggling with their mental health try to remember that they are not alone.
“No matter how low or down you get, there’s always someone out there who will listen, so I would say just speak, someone will listen, be it a parent, a friend, a youth leader, a teacher, there’s just always someone, so it’s never right to think you’re alone,” Mr Long said.
“Try to remember there is always help.”