Footballers abandon smartphones for charity

Galway ladies senior footballers topped the €10,000 mark in their 'Talk for Pieta' fundraiser.

They raised an impressive €10,365 that will go directly to keeping Pieta House’s counselling services free to those suffering from suicidal ideation and those who engage in self-harm.

The innovative idea by team captain Edel Concannon and her teammates was to give up using their smartphones for the entire month of June in order to highlight the links between the over-use of social media and depression.

“You can’t put a price on our health, it’s our most important asset,” says Deirdre Brennan of the team. “Mental health unfortunately still has a stigma around it, particularly in Ireland. So we wanted to raise awareness and let people know that it’s OK to not be OK.

"I’d advise young people to spend less time scrolling on their phone and to spend more time communicating with people directly. And of course the idea with this was to raise money for Pieta House, which is a great charity.”

To keep in touch without their smartphones, the footballers were allowed to use old-school text and call-only mobiles for the month of June.

Tracey Leonard said giving up the smartphone made her more conscious of how much time she spent on it.

“If you look at all young people now, they spend a huge amount of time on their phones. Whichever way you look, left or right, you just see them all scrolling on them. So it was a fantastic thing to do and the support we got was amazing.”

For more information on Pieta House, visit www.pieta.ie

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