Waterford City and County Council and the HSE/South East Community Healthcare have come together to promote mental health along the Waterford Greenway.
Prominent bilingual signage at seven entry points along the 46 kilometres of Ireland’s longest greenway, stretching between Waterford City and Dungarvan, will feature messages used in the HSE’s “Your Mental Health” campaign and provide the free helpline phone number for the Samaritans.
The venture was launched on World Mental Health Day, Thursday, October 10 – on the Greenway at Ballinroad, Co. Waterford.
The initiative also springs from the Connecting for Life Waterford, the suicide prevention and self-harm plan for the county
The messages to be displayed on 1800 x 300 millimetre signs at Abbeyside, Ballinroad, Durrow, McGrath’s Cross, Kilmacthomas, Carriganore and Bilberry are:
· “Problems feel smaller when you share them” (“Is maol gualainn gan bhráthair”)
· “Boost your mood with healthy food” (Beidh aoibh mhaith ort má itheann tú bia folláin”)
· “The more you move, the better your mood” (Dá mhéid a bhogann tú ‘sea is fearr a mhothóidh tú”)
· “Do things with others, there’s strength in numbers” (“Ar scáth a chéile a maireann na ndaoine, ní neart go cur le chéile”)
Speaking at today’s launch Johnny Brunnock (Trails Officer with Waterford City and County Council) said: “Since it opened in March 2017, the Waterford Greenway has quickly become one of great attractions in Ireland’s Ancient East. Leaving Waterford by the river Suir and on past Mount Congreve estate, featuring three spectacular viaducts, a 400-metre tunnel, skirting the Comeragh mountains and into Dungarvan along the Copper Coast, an estimated 283,500 people used and visited the amenity in 2018.”
“We in the local authority are conscious of health and safety in so many ways in our design and upkeep of the Greenway. We are delighted, therefore, that our continued involvement with the health services through the Connecting for Life plan and other cooperation has resulted in the addition of this signage to a recreational facility being enjoyed by so many people, locals and visitors alike.
"As is said, it’s the little things, so Waterford City and County Council is pleased to play a part in encouraging the Your Mental Health campaign – where the emphasis is on drawing attention to information, support and services that are available.”
Present at the launch for the HSE/South East Community Healthcare was Tracy Nugent (Regional Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention), who said: “The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day is Suicide Prevention. It’s good, on such a day, for community healthcare services to be linking with Waterford’s local authority – an agency linked in to and helping to coordinate so much community activity.
"Indeed, the wonderful amenity that is the Greenway is a very fitting environment to be bringing our positive mental health messages. The more you move, the better your mood is what one of the signs says and that message – as much as those on the other three – ties in with why we would want more and more people and for so many reasons to avail of the Greenway.
“There is an increased understanding in recent times of the importance of physical fitness and how the great outdoors can play a part in that. We are too, however, promoting awareness that amenities and that much ancillary to them are also important for good mental health.
"The Greenway, once a rail line connecting various places and their communities is now such a connection for everyone in and coming to Waterford City and County. The HSE/South East Community Healthcare are delighted to help make connections through this signage and looks forward to further opportunities with Waterford City and County Council to, literally, connect for life.”
If you or someone you know is in distress call Samaritans Freephone Listening Service on 116 123 or visit www.yourmentalhealth.ie.