St. Mary’s Hurling Club puts the spotlight on mental health of its members

St Mary’s is not only a thriving hurling club in Clonmel but also a vital part of the community.

St Mary’s is not only a thriving hurling club in Clonmel but also a vital part of the community.

It caters for huge numbers of players, from the very young to the more senior, and while success on the playing field is a major part of their endeavours, they are also committed to the wellbeing of their members.

As a result, they launched a Mental Health and Wellbeing working group in February of this year.

Says club secretary Fearghus MacCraith - “This was partially in response to some initiatives at national level by the GAA such as 2014 being designated as a year of action in the area of mental health and wellbeing and initiatives such as SAFE TALK and PLAY IN MY BOOTS which are official mental health resources.”

He says St. Mary’s is first and foremost a sporting club which plays hurling but also a community group with a proud and longstanding reputation in Clonmel.

“And as such we attempted to reach out to the community which sustains us and which we serve as well as tending to our own membership when it comes to mental health and wellbeing.

“Our first initiative was the development of a poster/sign which is designed to reduce stigma and to give advice with regard to resilience.

“This poster, which was developed with the assistance of Mental Health Ireland, is hanging in our dressing rooms and the outdoor sign is visible publicly at the side entrance into the Sportfield on the Western road.

“We are in the process of distributing posters to schools, cafes, hotels, shops and any other suitable location.

“We have a limited number which are available free of charge. The club thanks those who have assisted to date with this venture and should a poster be required, the St. Mary’s Secretary can be contacted at 085 7140498

“The mental Health working group continues to be active and further initiatives are planned.”