Minister Michael Ring officially opened the new premises of the Cairde Club at Rock Square in Castlebar last Friday.
The Cairde Club is a drop-in centre which provides supports for people with mental health challenges. It offers a friendly, welcoming, space so that service-users can access support, friendship, personal development, and peer encouragement.
At the launch, Minister Ring highlighted how services provided at the Cairde Club are invaluable to club members and their families.
He said: "Members have a safe and secure environment here to have a cup of tea, chat with staff and relax and partake in all the various activities.
"Mental health is an area where we need to continuously aim to improve our services and the Cairde Club, to its great credit, is continually looking at new ways of supporting people with mental health challenges. The service it provides to the local community is invaluable.
"Between the Cairde Club in Castlebar and its sister facility, the Dolmen Clubhouse in Ballina, around 230 members of our community benefit from the excellent services being provided."
The two clubhouses are open seven days a week, for 54 hours each per week and with late opening three evenings a week. Last year the clubs recorded a footfall of 10,200.
Minister Ring continued: "The commitment and energy needed to create and maintain this type of service is demanding on both staff and volunteers' time, skills and dedication. I would like to commend the board of directors and staff and in particular Margaret Kelly, who has gone above and beyond to deliver this fantastic new premises."
The Cairde Club is based in a property owned by Mayo Mental Health Association and tribute was paid to the Association for its support, by chairman of the board, Jimmy Murphy. The Cairde Club started off in 2002 and for the past number of years was based at Newline in Castlebar.