Green Ribbon Demonstration for Mental Health in Balbriggan

May 4, 2016 0

A colourful “Green Ribbon Demonstration for Mental Health” was held last Thursday 28th April at John’s Garden at the corner of Bath Road in Balbriggan.  Green ribbons were tied to the trees, banners fluttered in the wind and placards were waved at passing traffic who tooted and waved their support.

green_ribbon_demonstrationThe event was organised to coincide with the demonstration taking place at the same time outside Dáil Eireann protesting at the threat by the Minister for Health to divert €12 million away from the mental health budget

Members of the Reach group were joined by local Councillors and by others who felt strongly enough to brave the elements to get there; But as the rain and wind subsided conversations struck up and stories were exchanged.  It was clear from the experiences being shared that Mental Health services in Balbriggan need to improve.  Reductions in the service over recent years are causing hardship and uncertainty and the thought that there could be further cuts truly horrific.

On a more positive note, some cautious optimism was expressed that the new Primary Care Centre would be well resourced and offer new life to the mental services in Balbriggan.  What is needed is access to mental health professionals 24/7 for those in crisis; Early intervention programmes; A focus on recovery oriented therapies promoting good mental health for everyone.

It was felt that a strong message needs to be sent to the next Government that Mental Health must be a priority.

The Balbriggan demonstration was organised by members of the Reach mental health programme based in the BEAT Centre and the Dublin event was organised by Mental Health Reform and the Union of Students in Ireland.