Minister Fitzgerald launches 'Our Space' mental health project
On April 27th, Dubhaltach’s Think Big project “Our Space” was launched by Minister Frances Fitzgerald in Dundalk. Headstrong’s Think Big Co-ordinator Nuala Smith was there on the day and wrote this about the day.
The young people of Muirhevnamor had a great welcome for Minister Frances Fitzgerald on April 27th as she joined them to launch their new relaxation room called ‘Our Space’ in the Craobh Rua Youth Service. The project was supported by Think Big and led by Dubhaltach Mulvenna who explained the background to this initiative. “The project came about when as a group we decided we wanted to do something to help young people in Muirhevnamor deal better with the stresses they face. We decided to transform the room here at the Craóbh Rua to provide young people with a space to think things through. We applied to Think Big for funding and they also provided us with a mentor who helped us make the very best of the project.”
On Friday we packed into to the new room for photos and those involved in designing and painting the room, were shining with pride. By understanding the importance of mental health for young people they have faced an issue that most adults would shy away from. And by providing somewhere to turn to and someone to talk to for young people in their community they have taken an important step in improving everyone’s mental health. The energy and commitment of Dubhaltach and his friends and the support from Roisin and the Youth Work Ireland team is so impressive.
Commenting on the event, Minister Frances Fitzgerald said, ‘We all know that growing up is never easy. For some young people it can prove very tough. Promoting and sustaining positive mental health among our young people is therefore vital. Spaces such as the one I am launching today have an important role to play in this. I commend all involved in the delivery of this superb initiative."
As part of Think Big, young people are paired with Mentors who are O2 staff. The role of the mentors is to guide people through the process of bringing their ideas to life and making it happen on the ground. They help set goals, draw up action plans and check in with our Big Thinkers along the way. Nicola Walsh, who was Dubhaltach’s mentor, came to Dundalk last week for the opening.
Personally it was uplifting to see how the support Think Big offers coupled with the passion of the young leaders has a huge ripple effect and reaches the lives of so many young people.
If you want to know more about Think Big and how to get involved you can contact Nuala on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01 – 472 7050.