Three cheers for Daniel Burke, Club 4U & the St John Bosco Youth Centre for the great work they are doing in the Drimnagh community. Positive news stories often go untold & don’t always get the media interest that they deserve, so it is great to see the Club4U team making the news again.   Here’s the full article from the Dublin People local Southside newspaper about the work they are doing to help tackle mental health problems.

Tuesday, 01 March 2011 SOUTHSIDERS have been taking part in a new programme that challenges them to come up with new ideas to improve the lives of young people in their community who are suffering from mental health problems.
About 20 young people from the Club4U Youth Club based in the St John Bosco Youth Centre in Drimnagh have been engaging in Think Big, a joint initiative between mobile phone operator O2 and mental health organisation, Headstrong.
Young people across the country were encouraged to join the Think Big community online where they could discuss and share ideas about how to promote mental health among young people.
Daniel Burke (21) from Drimnagh and 20 other members of the Club4U youth club worked on a project that delivered a variety of initiatives to improve the lives of young people in the area with mental health problems.
Daniel said they got involved in the project, as they believed it was important that people with mental health problems received support from their peers.
He explained that the group’s initial project, a series of drama workshops that involved local youth, was aimed at dispelling some of the misconceptions surrounding mental health.
“People were given different roles and they had to act those out,” he revealed. “Some of roles revolved around misconceptions surrounding mental health.
“For example, some people think schizophrenia is simply a split personality but it is not at all. And the main aim of workshops was to get people talking because one in four people go through depression in their lives.”
He added: “Many people who are depressed think they are the only ones that have it but being able to share their experiences with others can often take a big weight off their shoulders.”
Daniel revealed that the group was taking on a second project that would involve recording a film to be screened in the local youth centre, creating and performing songs, and constructing a canvas where people can articulate their feelings on mental health.
Last year, the Club4U members worked on a number of projects in Drimnagh to try and counteract the negative coverage the community sometimes attracts in the media.
The young people also attended a recent Think Big workshop where they each submitted a project through the Think Big website.
O2 has granted initial funding of e300 to help get each project off the ground. In addition, every young person will get support from O2 and Headstrong in the form of mentoring and ongoing training to help bring their proposal to life.
The projects will also be eligible for further funding as they progress.
Nuala Smith, youth participation officer with Headstrong said: “We were established to change how Ireland thinks about and responds to the mental health of young people.
“Through our partnership with O2 and the Think Big campaign, we are encouraging young people to promote positive mental health for themselves and their peers. We can reduce the stigma that has existed in Ireland for years, and make it acceptable to experience emotional distress and to seek help when we need it.”
Log onto www.o2thinkbig.ie for more information.

About the author

Pauline Sargent Pauline Sargent is the founder of Drimnagh is Good a hyperlocal community website bog for the people of Drimnagh. Connect with Pauline on Google + me on Google+



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