EmployAbility Limerick planted a Tree for Hope in People’s Park alongside Dr Eddie Murphy for Time to Talk Day. Picture: Orla McLaughlin/ilovelimerick.
WATCH – EmployAbility Limerick plants Tree of Hope in People’s Park
EmployAbility Limerick assists and supports people who have an injury, illness or disability in returning to work and maintaining employment. EmployAbility was joined last week in the People’s Park by Dr Eddie Murphy for the planting of a Tree of Hope in honour of national ‘Time to Talk’ Day which is part of the Green Ribbon ‘Go Green’ Campaign which takes place every May, as part of Mental Health Awareness Month.
The Go Green Campaign, which aims to get people talking openly about common mental health problems and to reduce the stigma associated with depression.
During the day people were encouraged to use their social media presence to encourage positive conversation about mental health online. After the ceremony, Dr Eddie Murphy said “This tree is to symbolise your strength, your resilience and your hope that you will bloom every day just like this tree. When it overcomes the winter, it comes into spring and summer and blooms, and so will people who struggle with their mental health”.
Dr Eddie is a clinical psychologist, mental health expert, author, teacher, & life coach committed to promoting mental well-being through counselling and therapy. In the past, he has advocated for increasing the HSE mental health budget to 13%, the restoration of Career Guidance/Counsellors in Secondary Schools and an education system that promotes wellbeing programs.
At the event, he stressed the importance of hope in people’s lives. “Hope is critical in our lives. If we have it, we try to hold onto and if we don’t have it, we try to work towards it. One thing I hope that this tree does is faces many challenges because the tree that faces many challenges in life are the ones that are strongest, just like us.”
The planting of the tree acts as a symbol to all those affected by a suicide or living with mental health issues. “Trees are important for all of us” Dr Eddie said, adding “they represent many different things. The roots represent how stable we are in our life. The branches represent our family members, and the tree is a tree of hope that holds us steady. Hope is the greatest antidote to bad feelings and depression. I hope that this tree will inspire hope for many.”
Also part of the Time to Talk Day was a talk from life coach Patrick Mercie with employees from EmployAbility, Limerick Chamber and Metis Ireland in Ruby Sundays Café. Patrick talked about simple changes people can make to their lives and their businesses to improve their mental health and increase their energy throughout the day.
EmployAbility Limerick assists and supports people who have an injury, illness or disability in returning to work and maintaining employment. They currently have a specific project that solely focuses on people with a mental health illness. For the month of May, EmployAbility Limerick is joining forces with See Change, whose aim is to reduce the stigma associated with mental health problems and challenge discrimination, by partnering with the Green Ribbon Campaign.
The annual Green Ribbon Campaign takes place every May, as part of Mental Health Awareness Month, and aims to get people talking openly about common mental health problems. This campaign, now in its 7th year running, promotes open conversation about mental health and it challenges the associated stigma that sometimes comes with it. Ursula Mackenzie from EmployAbility Limerick, explained why they got involved, “Stigma is very often one of the barriers to hiring someone who has a disability, particularly mental health illness, and we just like a lot of other organisations and businesses have been supporting this campaign for a while now, however, we took it upon ourselves this year to go a little further”. This May, EmployAbility Limerick is asking local businesses to ‘Light up Green’ with exterior lighting to help “Say ‘No’ to Mental Health Stigma.”
For more information on the Green Ribbon campaign, click here
For more information on EmployAbility Limerick, click here
For more stories on the Green Ribbon Campaign, click here