GROW Takes Part in Havens’ Mental Health Event in Galway City

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Earlier this year at the Mr. Waffle Cafe, opposite UCHG in Galway city, 65 people attended a novel mental health event.

It was an evening of creative expression inspired by lived experience of challenges, survival, and recovery and featured presentations about Galway mental health supports and services.

The event was supported by Galway 2020, Kevin Nugent the owner of Mr Waffle and the HSE mental health engagement office.

GROW featured prominently at the event, with Area Coordinator Alan Keaveney opening the event and providing an introduction to GROW and the supports it provides.

This was followed by GROWer Frances giving a very moving testimony of her recovery through GROW.

GROW were again featured when 3 members of Eastside Community Drama Group performed a segment of “The Ward”, a play written primarily by Galway GROW Writing group in 2015.

This play is based on GROWers’ experiences of attending or visiting psychiatric wards and the play was facilitated by Galway writer Rita Ann Higgins.

The play was performed at the GROW National conference in 2015 in Athlone and Galway. GROW members hope to stage the full play in Galway as part of Galway 2020 City of Culture programme.

Other organisations contributing on the night included the HSE, who had two of their Peer Support Workers explain their new role.

Virginia Moyles, the Peer Educator and Manager of Galway Recovery College surveyed audience members for syllabus suggestions ahead of the first College open day scheduled for February 21st.

Christina from SHINE gave a description of their work, followed by Aisling who introduced Cosáin, a new Mental Health Wellness charity founded in Galway.

Finally, Colette Tuohy, the HSE Mental Health Engagement Lead informed the audience of how service users and their family members or carers can attend forums in their local areas. This provides an opportunity to provide feedback to the HSE on how to improve services. T

he event was opened and closed with musical performances from artists with lived experiences of mental health difficulties.

The photo is of Dale, Brian and Louie (L to R) of Eastside Community Drama,