Ex-hurler Cusack to speak at mental wellness event

Conor Cusack: Former hurler among speakers.

Former Cork hurler Conor Cusack, who recently went public concerning his personal battle with depression, and actor Mary McEvoy will be among the speakers at a mental wellness exhibition in Killarney, on Sunday.

Be Aware Prevent Suicide, the Kerry group set up to tackle the lack of public awareness of the services and resources available, is hosting the free exhibition in the town’s Malton Hotel.

Representatives of more than 40 local and national support groups will provide information and advice to visitors from noon to 6pm.

“The idea of the exhibitors’ area is to allow the public get to see what help is out there. No matter what the problem is, there is always some help available,’’ said Be Aware Prevent Suicide chairwoman Deirdre Fee.

“The most important think is that they recognise the problem, accept it and reach out for help.

“The idea of speakers sharing their own experience is to help people realise there are so many others experiencing the same pain, but through help managed to get out the other side and either recover completely or live with their situation with help.”

Mary McEvoy, probably best known for her role as Biddy Byrne on RTÉ’s Glenroe, is a regular spokesperson on matters related to mental heath and has written about her own struggle with depression in her memoir, How the Light Gets In.

Other highlights of the day will include an introduction to mindfulness with practitioner Susan Barrett; a session with breathing coach Eoin Burns on the techniques that can help to overcome anxiety; and a talk on nutrition and mental health by nutritional therapist Mary Kerin.

The exhibition will also include a youth mental wellness area with targeted seminars by Bernadette McCarthy, of the Kerry Rape Crisis Centre, Aidan Murphy, of Jigsaw Kerry, and Shane Mullins, of Headstrong, on his programme D’Mess.

In addition, Urs Wenk, of Drum Dance Ireland, will run a drum and fun session.

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