South Down MP Opens MyMy House In Newcastle

County Down mental health charity MYMY (Mind Your Mate and Yourself) hosted an event at their new premises at 19 Dundrum Road, Newcastle, today (Tuesday 4th October 2016).

South Down MP Margaret Ritchie officially welcomed local Newry Mourne and Down District councillors, statutory agencies, local GP’s, school representatives and other community stakeholders to look around the new premises.

Pictured in the MYMY house in Newcastle on the opening day were (back row) volunteers Sile McLean, Frances McAtamney (House Manager), Susan Campbell, and (front row), Phylis Carlin and Maureen King (founder).
Pictured in the MYMY house in Newcastle on the opening day were (back row), volunteers Sile McLean, Frances McAtamney (House Manager), Susan Campbell, and (front row), Phylis Carlin and Maureen King (founder).

The guests were encouraged to help raise awareness of the services that the charity provides and to highlight the need to provide more financial support for organisations working with people experiencing poor mental health within local communities and rural areas.

Formerly known as PIPS Newcastle and District, and building on the huge amount of work that had been done by so many over many years, the charity changed its name last year and relocated to larger premises on the Dundrum Road in Newcastle.

Frances McAtamney, MYMY House Manager said: “Our group was established as a community response to an extremely high incidence of suicide in the South Down area. MYMY is committed to the promotion of positive mental health and wellbeing.

“The charity has grown significantly over the last few years and currently provides support to individuals, families and communities dealing with a range of issues such as anxiety, stress, bereavement, self-harming, relationship problems, suicide, mental/physical health and financial issues.”

Voluntary Director Ray Cunningham, House Manager Frances McAtamney and Counselling Manager Cathy Curran, along with its Management committee, counselling staff and volunteers are committed to making a difference to the emotional health and wellbeing of the local community and will endeavour to build on all of the hard work and services already provided by the charity to date.

Ray Cunningham said: “Mental health problems are on the rise within all sections of our community. A recent Health Service promotion campaign has indicated that 1 in 4 people will suffer from a mental health-related illness at some stage in their life.

MYMY provides support and advice within the Newcastle area community.
MYMY provides support and advice within the Newcastle area community.

“Not only are there great misconceptions about such illnesses, but sufferers and their families genuinely do not know who to turn to for help at a time of crisis.

“As an organisation and as a community we need to help remove that stigma by raising awareness and by providing the necessary support, not only for those personally experiencing these issues but also their families and friends whose lives may be impacted as well.

“MYMY is an organisation working within the heart of its local community and it is our community that is at the heart of our work, and without them MYMY could not provide the services we do.

“Unfortunately, with the current financial situation within the sector MYMY, does not receive any government funding at this time. We rely heavily on our own community to keep our organisation up and running and I feel it is important for me to take this opportunity to publicly convey our immense gratitude to all of our sponsors and supporters, who have tirelessly and continuously helped to keep this organisation growing, by organising and participating in numerous fundraising events.

“I would like to thank everyone who makes regular donations to MYMY through our direct debit and Gift Aid schemes, the people and businesses who organise events, make donations, help at our Annual Christmas dinner and those who provide the house with equipment, not forgetting the people who buy a raffle ticket, leave a tin of biscuits in the house or put money in a MYMY collection bucket.

“And lastly, but by no means least, I want to thank all of our volunteers, those counsellors who give of their time voluntarily and those who support the MYMY House. Without their help and all of the others just mentioned we would simply not be here.”

Ritchie Applaudes Work Of MyMy Volunteers

South Down MP Margaret Ritchie speaking at the opening of the MYMY premises said: “I am delighted to be here to officially open MYMY House.

South Down MP Margaret Ritchie.
South Down MP Margaret Ritchie.

“I would firstly like to take this opportunity to pay credit to all the volunteers, the tireless fundraisers and the campaigners who have made today’s opening possible. Without their endless dedication and selfless work this excellent facility, committed to the protection and safeguarding of mental health, would not exist.

“MYMY House will be a safe haven for sufferers of mental health. It will provide a protected, secure environment for people in their time of need. Delivering over 1000 counselling sessions in the past year alone. I have no doubt in this new facility you will continue to provide the high standard of support to individuals and families suffering with bereavement, relationship problems, self-harm and many other issues.

“While it is heartening that today’s opening is made possible through the diligent work of volunteers, it is also raises the issue that more funding is required from central government to promote positive mental health and well being. Mental health can often be a silent illness, eating away at the most vulnerable who have tried to remain strong for too long.

“It is imperative that the NI Executive and Government in Westminster fund adequate mental health treatment facilities centrally, regionally and perhaps most importantly, in the local community. This needs to take place through appropriate investment in mental health resources, training and awareness.

“The work you have undertaken to date, particularly in the Newcastle area where there has been such a high number of suicidal incidences, has made a remarkable difference to people’s lives. You have been the friend to turn to in one’s darkness hour of need.

“I wish you every success in the future, as you open this new venture. As Member of Parliament I will continue to support you in the years ahead and be a voice for volunteer groups and sufferers of mental health in the Chamber in Westminster. I look forward to working with you closely in the years to come for benefit and promotion of positive mental health.”

dn_screenThe MYMY House is currently open four days per week from 9.30 to 4.30 for general office activities and to facilitate counselling sessions as well as daytime support groups. Evening counselling session are also available, two evenings per week. The new premises also enables the charity to provide counselling rooms for hire in order to facilitate other local self-help organisations and support agencies working in the area.

If you or any or your friends or family feel that they would benefit from services provided by MYMY then please do drop in to the house on the Dundrum Road or call 02843727549 or email:

All approaches to and contact with MYMY are treated with the strictest confidentiality.


If you are interested in supporting MYMY or would like to get involved as a sponsor, fundraising or house volunteer please contact the MYMY House.

MYMY – Mind Your Mate and Yourself

*  Tel: 028 43724599
*  email: