GROW Participates at UL Student Congress

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GROW was among the organisations who participated in a hugely successful Cycle Against Suicide Student Leaders’ Congress held at the University of Limerick.
Almost 6,000 secondary schools gathered on January 18th and 19th for the event, which was held outside Dublin for the first time and featured speakers from support organisations as well as sports stars, musicians, politicians and celebrities.

The focus of the two-day was on sharing ideas and insights and opening up the discussion about mental health and wellbeing. The event’s Twitter hashtag #ShareTheJourney17 trended as #1 in Ireland during the Congress.

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The event featured informational talks, inspirational stories and music, including performances by The Strypes and the High Hopes Choir.

Huge thanks are extended to the Cycle Against Suicide Mental Health Coordinator, Lorraine Cavanagh, for inviting GROW to be among the organisations present. Lorraine also volunteers with Samaritans in Limerick with whom GROW has a good working relationship.
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GROW conducted two participatory exercises for the students present. On Wednesday, we captured some positive mental health tips from the students. E.G. “Have a cup of positivi-TEA” and on Thursday we captured words which came into their heads when the phrase “support group” was mentioned. On both days, GROW got a mention when the MC, DJ Colm Hayes, visited around the mental health organisation stands.

GROW also highlighted the Young Adult Book to all those present and encouraged them to download the free PDF copy from the GROW website homepage. There were also plenty of opportunities for networking at the event, with GROW’s stand positioned beside the Samaritans and Teenline.

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Connaught Rugby coach, Pat Lam, closed the event with an inspiring speech. Not only did he give the audience an unforgettable way to remember how to do the ‘Saturday Night Fever’ dance, but he also shared his own experiences and a great tip about good mental health with the analogy of a “train”  – the engine being the thinking, then comes the talking, next the action, with all the old baggage down the back in the baggage car.