Kerry Mental Health & Wellbeing Fest
9th – 16th October 2021
Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest is held every year to highlight World Mental Health Day on 10 October. The organising committee is a collaboration between Connecting for Life Kerry, Healthy Kerry, Kerry County Council, the HSE, NEWKD, SKDP, Kerry Mental Health Association, Jigsaw Kerry, IT Tralee and Kerry Volunteer Centre.
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 that promote positive mental health and wellbeing. Among the highlights was Forest Therapy, mindfulness and meditation sessions, walks, workshops on supporting wellbeing in the workplace, self-care, Zumba and yoga and more. 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.
Kerry 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.
History of Kerry 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.
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.
The Healthy Ireland Fund Supported by the Department of Health and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.
The Social Inclusion and Commmunity Activation Programme (SICAP) 2018-2022 is funded by the Irish Government through the Department of Rural and Communtity Developement and co-funded by the European Social Fund under the Programme for Employability, Inclusion, and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020