02 May 2019

Help End Mental Health Stigma with #GreenRibbonIRL

For the month of May events will be taking place across Ireland as part of the #GreenRibbonIRL campaign to end mental health stigma. They have already kicked off and our very own Christine Beekman hosted a talk on Mindfulness in Relationships. Dr Jane Alexander will also be a guest speaker during the month. She will be talking about Male Depression.


The Green Ribbon Campaign which is run by See Change. It aims to help reduce the stigma associated with mental health problems and challenge discrimination. The social stigma attached to mental health issues is viewed as one of the biggest challenges that people can face. This is especially eye opening given that:

  • One in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives.
  • Around one in ten children experience mental health problems.
  • Depression affects around one in 12 of the whole population.
  • 450 million people world-wide have a mental health problem.

The campaign also aims to create an environment where people are more open and positive in their attitudes and behaviour towards mental health. Discrimination experienced by people because of their mental health problem can act as a barrier.

This is especially the case when:

  • They are seeking help
  • Speaking out their mental health
  • When recovering.

Mental health stigma can also happen in two areas:

  • Public-Stigma – From stereotyping to prejudice to discrimination.
  • Self-Stigma – This can be the fear of misunderstanding and the prejudice they experience. A person starts to believe that what is being said about them is true. This Self-stigma can lead a person to believe myths such as they will not recover or cannot hold down a job. This can in turn exacerbate the existing condition.

What #GreenRibbonIRL Aims to do about Mental Health Stigma

Throughout the month of May events will take place across the country to help promote a greater understanding and acceptance of, plus support people with mental health problems.

It has kicked off in Limerick with ICHAS Lecturer Christine Beekman giving a guest talk on mindfulness and relationships. Held in the Hunt Museum, this talk went into detail how being mindful in relationships can be an important area to focus on. This is due to the fact that for the fact that in such relationships we tend to be at our most vulnerable.

There was a terrific turnout for the talk and this also supported one of the other key goals of the month long campaign, to create an environment where people with experience of mental health problems are empowered to gain equality, respect and rights.

What else is on this month?

There are sixteen events taking place in and around Limerick alone for the month. Topics range from “Emotional self support for single parents” to “Understanding your emotions to improve your mental health”.

Another ICHAS Lecturer Dr Jane Alexander will be giving a talk on May 21st at the Shannon Rowing Club about an area that has been to the forefront as of late, male depression.

In Ireland alone men account for eight in 10 suicides while 12.5% of men in the UK are suffering from one of the common mental health disorders. Jane will be giving an insightful talk about this topic that has impacted upon many families around the country.

Want to learn more about #GreenRibbonIRL?

Mental health problems can affect anyone at any time during their lives. It’s important to know that people with mental health problems can and do recover. These people are entitled to the same human rights as everybody else in society without discrimination and the more people that are aware of this the better. There will be events taking place all over the country this month.

If you want to find out what’s taking place in Limerick check out the leaflet below and if you can get out and wear a green ribbon to help bring an end to mental health stigma.


mental health stigma