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Green Ribbon Month 2021 will be celebrated throughout September by a series of events

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Green Ribbon Month 2021 – ABC for Mental Health are holding Lunchtime Talks at the Hunt Museum on September 7, 14, 21, and 28. Pictured above is Ger Garrett outside the Hunt Museum.

Green Ribbon Month 2021 will be celebrated throughout September by a series of events

By I Love Limerick Correspondent Ann Mc Donald

Green Ribbon Month 2021

Pictured above is Amanda Clifford of ABC for Mental Health and Richard Lynch of I Love Limerick, recognising Green Ribbon Month 2017. Photo: Cian Reinhardt/ilovelimerick.

While usually held in May, Green Ribbon Month 2021 will be held in September this year, due to Covid-19. 

Green Ribbon Month aims to reduce the stigma associated with mental health problems, to create an open and positive environment for people, and to promote greater understanding, acceptance, and support for people with mental health problems.

To honour the month, ABC for Mental health has organised a variety of events to support those with mental health issues.

ABC for Mental Health aims to promote positive mental health awareness to reduce the stigma that is attached to mental health, as well as support people who experience mental health issues.

On Friday, September 10 at 7pm, ABC for Mental health will be holding their 4th annual World Suicide Prevention Day Candlelit Vigil in Arthur’s Quay Park. Social distancing will be practiced, and those involved will write ‘Hope’ using the flame from their candles, to participate in this year’s World Suicide Prevention day’s theme of “Creating Hope Through Action.”

“At 8pm, all around the world, there will be a one-minute silence, and people will hold their candles to let everyone know that there is hope,” Amanda Clifford, organiser of ABC for Mental Health explained.

“It’s good to show people out there who are suicidal that there’s hope. Hope and fear cannot stay together, one must go. You have to have hope.”

“It’s very important that people realise that they belong, and that’s what Green Ribbon Month and World Suicide Prevention Day is all about. A sense of belonging, a sense that you belong to your community,” she said.

A GoFundMe has been set up to buy enough candles for those participating in the vigil.  

World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10th, is an opportunity for the community to join with the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) by focusing public attention on the need to increase suicide prevention awareness locally.

A ‘Wellness Wednesday’ in association with Body Tree Community will run on Wednesdays, September 8, 15, 22, and 29 at The Urban Co-op, 8 Eastway Business Park. These days will have talks and workshops on how to help improve your mental health and well-being. On Saturday, September 18, there will be a ‘Community Clinic Green Ribbon Month Family Fun Day,’ with therapies and art for kids.

There is also a Lunchtime Talk taking place at the Hunt Museum on September 7, 14, 21, and 28. These hour-long talks will have guest speakers discussing how they improved their mental health and how you can too.

On September 4, there is an ‘In-Body Health Optimisation Retreat,’ where participants will experience a full-body reset. This event takes place at Flagstone, Co. Clare, and costs €110, including a vegetarian meal. 

There will be an honesty box at each event, where people can donate to help pay towards the cost of venues.

“Green Ribbon Month is a movement, and there are people who come every year. They come because they have seen pain and they want to help. They have gone through pain themselves. They have lost people. They want to bring hope, they don’t want to bring fear because usually there’s a lot of fear, shame, and blame surrounding suicide, and there should be no fear of shame and blame anymore. There should be a place where we can feel that we belong and there is hope,” Amanda said.

“We all want the same thing. We all want to be understood, and listened to, and to be loved and to be understood, so we listen to them. People don’t come to these things sometimes because they think they can’t make a difference, but everybody can do something. And together, we can do a lot.”

Any support for the events would be greatly appreciated, and Amanda encourages anyone who can attend the events taking place throughout September.

To donate to the GoFundMe go HERE 

For more stories on Green Ribbon Month go HERE 

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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