Kerry Mental Health & Wellbeing Fest

10th – 17th October 2020

‘The 2020 Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest, #kerrymhwfest, took place from 10 – 17 October.  This year’s week-long programme of events was a little different with many events taking place on the radio, outdoors and online.  But during the current COVID-19 pandemic, these events aimed at promoting good mental health was probably more important than ever.

The interagency committee organised a range of events including wellbeing workshops, seminars, walks, coffee mornings, mindfulness and activity sessions.  The programme of events came together with the support of all the local statutory agencies working together with the very positive input of community and voluntary groups all over Kerry.

The Fest coincided with World Mental Health Day (on 10 October) and ran from Saturday, 10 to Saturday, 17 October.  Among the highlights was Forest Therapy, mindfulness and meditation sessions, coffee mornings, walks, wellbeing in the workplace workshops, self-care workshops, Zumba and yoga classes and more.

Kerry’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest aims to promote a positive sense of wellbeing and highlights mental health services and supports which are available to people in need in the county.  Everyone is encouraged to take time out to learn, talk, reflect and engage with others around the topic of mental health and wellbeing, and to encourage anyone with mental health issues to reach out and avail of supports and services available. 

Click here to see the full programme of events for 2020!

Click here for the Fest 2020 Summary Report

Listen back to the Radio Kerry events held during the 2020 Fest:

Saturday Supplement with Joe McGill – Speakers talk about the mental health and wellbeing supports available in Kerry and the 2020 Fest.  This radio session was broadcast live outside Manor West Shopping Centre Tralee on 10th October 2020

Talkabout with Deirdre Walsh – A radio interview giving an overview of the 2020 Fest and tips for supporting our mental health and wellbeing which took place on 12th October 2020

Talkabout with Deirdre Walsh – The importance of being active and how spending more time in the outdoors is great for our mental wellbeing.  This radio slot was aired on 13th October 2020

Talkabout with Deirdre WalshA discussion on financial wellbeing which took place on 14th October 2020

In Business with Mary Mullins – The importance of wellbeing in the workplace which was aired on 15th October 2020

Listen to the Just A Thought recordings on the Five Ways to Wellbeing that were made by members of the Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest committee:

Connect – Donagh Hennebry

Be Active – Ailis Brosnan

Take Notice – Seán Lyons

Keep Learning – Clo Keefe-Lyons

Give – Geraldine O’Sullivan

This video was created to share key mental health and wellbeing tips during the Cork and Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fests! Watch the video here

This programme of events is brought to you by the Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest interagency committee. 

Members of this committee include:

Ailis Brosnan, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare (HSE) ¦ Caoimhe Keogan, Jigsaw Kerry ¦ Clotilde Lyons, Institute of Technology Tralee (ITT) ¦ Deirdre Hegarty, Kerry County Council (Healthy Kerry) ¦ Donagh Hennebry, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare (HSE) ¦ Geraldine O’Sullivan, Kerry Volunteer Centre ¦ Jimmy Mulligan, South West Counselling ¦ Lorraine Bowler, North East West Kerry Development (NEWKD) ¦ Mairéad O’Sullivan, South Kerry Development Partnership (SKDP) ¦ Pat O’Brien, Kerry Mental Health Association (KMHA) ¦ Seán Lyons ¦ Sheila Curtin, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare (HSE)

History of Kerry's Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest

Kerry's first Health and Wellbeing Week was held in October 2018.  This project was collaboratively led by the HSE Cork Kerry Community Healthcare through Connecting for Life, and Kerry County Council through Healthy Kerry.  A dedicated committee of local support services and organisations came together to plan a series of 49 events to celebrate World Mental Health Day, here in Kerry.  

There was something for everyone - from runs to walks, arts and craft to indoor bowls, coffee mornings to movie nights, workplace wellbeing to parenting information, mindfulness to volunteering, wellbeing workshops to seminars on grief and loss.  Hundreds of people participated in the events throughout the week and feedback from participants was positive. 

Following the enormous success of the 2018 festival, the interagency committee held a two week long Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest in 2019.  About 300 people in total attended the 100 events that were held across the county!  Feedback from the participants was again extremely positive and the committee are planning the next Fest to take place from 10-17 October 2020.

Each year, the Fest aims to promote a positive sense of wellbeing and to highlight mental health services and supports which are available to people in need in the county.  Everyone in the county is encouraged to take time out to learn, talk, reflect, and engage with others around the topic of mental health and wellbeing, and to encourage anyone with mental health issues to reach out and avail of supports and services available.  Central to the Fest is the promotion of the Five Ways to Wellbeing.