Festival Of Hope Launched By Ballynahinch Suicide Group

Ballynahinch Suicide Prevention Group Launch Festival of Hope


Ballynahinch Suicide Prevention Group Launch Festival of Hope

Ballynahinch’s inaugural Festival of Hope will take place between 5th & 15th October 2021 with a programme of activities celebrating World Mental Health Day 2021.

Speaking about the Festival, Lise Curran, Chairperson of the Ballynahinch Suicide Prevention Task Group, and a health worker with the County Down Rural Community Network, said: “We have planned several activities and small events which we hope will inspire a sense of optimism in the local community.  

“Due to the current pandemic, we are limited as to what we can do but we have plans to grow the festival in the coming years.  It is our intention that people struggling with mental health issues will learn of the many sources of help available to them and we hope the festival will provide a focus for this important issue.”

(l-r) Lise Curran, Chair of the Ballynahinch Suicide Prevention Task Group, with Ellen Brennan, Rowallene DEA forum Co-ordinator; Audrey Slater, Secretary of the Ballynahinch Community Collective; and Jennie Campbell, Centre Manager for the Ballynahinch Counselling Service.

Ballynahinch Suicide Prevention Task Group was established in October 2020 to address mental health within Ballynahinch and the surrounding areas.  There has been growing concern over suicides in the area for several years and it was felt that there was a real need for agencies to work together to look at what could be done to tackle this problem.  

Working in partnership the group have identified strategic priorities and plan on delivering activities and events to highlight local sources of help and support.

Despite the pressures of the Covid pandemic, the group has pressed ahead addressing the urgency and have continued to develop and they have been meeting virtually since last October. Due to lockdown and increased mental health issues the work of the group is now more relevant than ever. 

People have been suffering social and rural isolation due to the pandemic which has had a negative impact on their mental health and well-being and they need to know where to get support.