A Plan for Mental Wellness

Hello Friends and partners,
I hope this note finds you safe, warm, and well.
As the pandemic continues to impact all aspects of our lives, our concern grows for the mental wellness of our community. We were contacted recently by several community members who wanted to share similar concerns and ask Irish Community Services for assistance in addressing mental health issues.  
This is exactly the kind of work that Irish Community Services exists to do so we are ready to offer all that we can. We have developed a strategy that includes immediate and longer-term initiatives. We invite you to participate in this plan and provide feedback on how we can make improvements.
Last week, we began work on a series of short videos that address crisis situations and point community members towards expert organizations where they can access more information and support. We will be creating three videos addressing suicide, domestic violence, and substance abuse/ addiction. The first video – which addresses suicide – was release last Thursday. You will find this video below,

Please SHARE this video with you own networks and watch out for two further videos in the coming week. Your comments and likes will help these videos to be seen by more community members, so please take a minute to do all three (like, comment, share). You can also subscribe to ICS YouTube channel

 to make sure you don’t miss the next installments.
We are creating newsletters to blast out each of these three videos and offer some additional mental wellness information.

Please forward this email to your contacts. If you are not signed up to receive ICS’ newsletters, please do so here.

We are sourcing an expert organization to host a suicide awareness and prevention training which will be offered free-of-charge to community members. We will encourage community leaders to participate in this training so that different Irish organizations and groups each have members more of aware of suicide and the supports available around this issue.
We are designing a month-long community education campaign called Mind Yourself March which will be a sustained effort to raise awareness, combat stigma, mobilize our community and share resources on an array of mental wellness and self-care issues such as exercise, anxiety, parenting under lockdown, and mental illness.

The campaign will feature:
Weekly emails with useful links, referrals, and videos from well-known community members offering their insights on what’s helped them to feel hopeful or physically and mentally well during the pandemic.

Frequent social media posts and engagements.  

A full-page feature in the Irish American News magazine.

Weekly radio slots on the O’ Connor Irish Radio Show.
While we are excited to be working on this timely project to support community members who are vulnerable right now, we need your help. To reach the entirety of the community we need you to share this information with your networks across social media or whatever channels you use to communicate with your audiences. Please, maximize the number of people we can help by:
Liking, commenting on, and sharing social media posts
Sign up for Irish Community Services newsletter to be sure that you are getting all the mental wellness content we will be creating. You can sign up here.
When available, forward the Mind Yourself March weekly emails to you email contact lists.
Volunteer to share your story/ experience/ advice with the community as part of Mind Yourself March, or forward this email to someone in your network/organization who might be willing to participate.
Share your suggestions on how we can reach more people and the kind of information you think our community needs right now.
This Friday 5th February at 9.30am (CST), we’re hosting a call with concerned community leaders to talk about our mental wellness plans and to get feedback on what we’re working on. We’d love you or a representative from your organization to be on the call. If you can make it, the dial-in details are below.
Dial-in: 712-775-7031
Access Code: 619966

We are grateful for this opportunity to serve our community and for your assistance in doing so.
I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
Paul Dowling