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Inspire Hope

Renowned Youth Mental Health Expert to Address Donegal Conference

Connect Mental Health welcome leading youth mental health expert, Dr Jo Robinson, to Donegal this Friday for their ‘Inspire Hope’ youth conference in the Abbey Hotel, Donegal Town. The event, a key date in Connect Mental Health’s annual programme of events, is run in partnership with Foróige National Youth Organisation and Jigsaw Donegal.

Inspire Hope will bring 250 TY and senior cycle students from 5 south west Donegal schools together in the Abbey Hotel for an educational and interactive day. In addition to the keynote address by Dr Jo Robinson students will experience 4 interactive workshops. This includes a mental health workshop from Jigsaw Donegal, a healthy eating demo from blogger Finn Ní Fhaoláin, an ‘Energy session’ by The Energy Hub and a relaxation session with Blaithin Sweeney from the Rennafix Group.

Foróige and Connect Mental Health’s Maura Gallagher outlined the objectives of Inspire Hope:

‘Connect Mental Health and Foróige have been working effectively in partnership to give opportunities for young people to develop effective coping skills. We hope this event will empower young people to take charge of their own mental health and develop awareness of mental health supports available in Donegal.’

Maura also thanked Dr Jo Robinson for taking the time to be part of the event: ‘Jo is travelling to Ireland from Australia for the International Association For Youth Mental Health conference taking place next week and has kindly accepted the offer to come to Donegal. We look forward to welcoming Jo to Donegal and greatly appreciate the support we have received from the International Association For Youth Mental Health.’

Jo Robinson leads the suicide prevention research unit at Orygen the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health in Melbourne. She leads a pioneering work program examining a range of things including how social media platforms can be used in suicide prevention. Her work with young people tells us that delivering suicide prevention activities via online platforms can be safe, effective and is highly acceptable to young people.

I am thrilled to be back in Ireland for the International Association for Youth Mental Health conference being held in Dublin. This is a great opportunity for young people and those who work in youth mental health from all over the world  to come together to share their work and generate new ideas for the future.’

‘I am particularly excited to meet with some of the young people in Donegal and to talk with them about the issues surrounding suicide prevention and social media’.

Dr Jo
– Dr Jo Robinson Head of Suicide Prevention Research at Orygen

Jo is in Ireland for the upcoming International Association For Youth Mental Health (IAYMH) conference taking place in Dublin from the 24th -26th September. Speaking ahead of next weeks conference Craig Hodges, IAYMH secretary, stated:

‘Ireland has been a world leader in youth mental health with the development of their Jigsaw program and focus on online supports. The IAYMH are proud to be hosting this year’s event in Ireland and look forward to learning more about developments in Ireland.’

‘Engaging young people in designating the services of the future is critical if we want to make a lasting impact on improving the mental health and well-being of young people.’

Connect Mental Health will be exhibiting at IAYMH’s 4th International Conference on Youth Mental Health from 24th – 26th Sept in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin.