A public talk aimed at breaking down the perceived stigma attached to depression has had a “fantastic” response in Carrickfergus.
Mental health charity AWARE (formerly Aware Defeat Depression) hosted ‘Let’s talk about it: A conversation on depression’ in Carrickfergus Town Hall on Wednesday (November 11).
AWARE saved my life
It was the fourth in a series of talks which the charity are hosting throughout Northern Ireland during 2015/2016.
The aim of the talks is to both “reach out to local communities to ensure that people are familiar with the services they provide in the area and to break down the stigma attached to depression”, according to the charity.
Speaking at the event was Dr Richard Cherry, a psychiatrist from Southern Health and Social Care Trust. “I think events like this are really important to tackle the issue of stigma; it also showcases the good work done by AWARE and others,” he said.
“These events act as an important forum for people to access information and address issues that they would not otherwise be able to raise.”
Stephen Mc Cann, who attends an AWARE support group, told of his own experience with depression. “AWARE saved my life,” he said. “I would encourage people with depression to attend a support group. It is imperative that we are all able to talk about our mental health.”
Tom McEneaney, Head of Business Development of AWARE added: “The response from the local people has been fantastic. We currently operate a support group fortnightly in Carrickfergus on a Thursday at 6.30pm in the Miskimmon Suite in Carrickfergus Town Hall.
“Our next Carrickfergus support group will take place on November 19.
“Anyone affected by depression is welcome. We hope that following the success of this public talk people will attend.”