Green Ribbon Month: Walk & Talk with psychiatrists
Last Sunday, 21st of May, over 40 people including psychiatrists, people who use the mental health services and members of the public took part in the 3rd annual CPsychI Walk & Talk with Psychiatrists as part of See Change Green Ribbon month.
The aim of the event was to promote wellness and activity in an outdoor setting. It was also a chance for those who use the services, their carers and family members, and mental health professionals to mix in an informal, welcoming, supportive and social atmosphere to talk about psychiatry and challenge mental health stigma through informal discussion. Attendees enjoyed a walk around St Stephen’s Green, with intermittent stops in the park for points of information and discussion from various speakers.
Speakers from the Walk & Talk Dr Rosie Plunkett and Mr Rick Rossiter spoke to Mary Wilson on RTE Radio 1 Drivetime about the Walk And Talk with psychiatrists 2017.
The walk commenced with CPsychI President Dr John Hillery at Edward Delaney’s Famine Memorial, who, taking inspiration from the location, journeyed back to highlight the neurological effects of the Famine on Irish people’s mental health today.
Second to address the crowd was Dr Rosie Plunkett, chair of the Trainee Committee, who described her experience as a trainee psychiatrist and the optimism she experiences in the potential of improving someone’s wellbeing. Rosie also compared the approach to good and bad physical health with approaches to mental health and how they need to be thought of and practiced in the same way by all not just the professionals which was very helpful.
Rick Rossiter, CPsychI REFOCUS Committee member and See Change ambassador, shared an honest account of his experience of living with bipolar disorder and the stigma he has experienced as a result. Rick encouraged attendees to support those who ask for help and urged everyone to continue open discussions on mental health to challenge the stigma that still exists and prevents people from reaching out.
Dr Verena Keane then spoke about learning disability psychiatry, medical psychotherapy, and reminded the group that everyone experiences vulnerability, no matter your position in life. She also stressed that we need to do more for those really vulnerable in society such as those with a learning disability and a mental health issue.
To close the walk Dr Denis Eustace took the group on a brief historical journey through his Quaker upbringing, the Quaker approach to those vulnerable in society over generations and how that shaped his life as a psychiatrist today. The walkers then enjoyed time with psychiatrists over a tea, coffee and buns in the band stand!
See below for more photos from the Walk and Talk with Psychiatrists 2017