Young people in Mayo have a new service to support them when it comes to mental health and wellbeing.
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny was on hand last Friday to perform the official opening of the new service, called Mindspace Mayo, at Market Square, Castlebar.
The new centre is for people aged between 15 and 25 who are going through a difficult time and aims to ensure they get the support they need.
Mindspace is a project by the HSE, Mental Health Ireland, and local community partners.
It was developed following research carried out by the Mayo Youth Mental Health Initiative in 2011, which identifed some gaps in access to appropriate services and supports for young people in the county.
Speaking at the official opening, Mr Kenny said the new service promotes the concept of ‘self-help’.
“I believe we have a particular duty to young people to support them in their life challenges. We must help them to develop a sense of self-knowledge, self-awareness and self-worth.
“The Mindspace model of mental health support reflects this - with the strong emphasis on self-help.
“It focuses on the young person’s strength and resilience as well as their difficulties, and works to support young people within their local community.”
One of the Mindspace innovations includes the setting up of a new panel of young people who will act as a representative voice for their peers throughout Mayo in the running of the centre and will represent Mindspace at a community level.
John Fitzmaurice, regional manager of Mindspace, said the Market Square centre will provide a welcoming space for young people to call in, get information, or have a chat, one–to-one, with a support worker.
“If a young person wants support, our staff are there to listen, without making judgements, and to provide supportive guidance.
“We also provide information and advice to anyone who is worried about a friend or young person in their life.
“The service is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals.”