Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Caitríona Ruane meets AWARE group members

29 September, 2009 - by Caitríona Ruane

Caitríona Ruane meets AWARE group members


South Down Sinn Féin Assembly Member Caitríona Ruane met last Friday with Andrea Kerns and James Knox from AWARE, Defeat Depression Group.

Describing the meeting as 'extremely useful' Ms Ruane said it provided an opportunity for members of the group to explain the work they are doing to help support people with depression and the expectations they have from Assembly Members.


Ms Ruane continued: “This was a useful meeting that allowed Andrea and James to explain the essential work being carried out by AWARE.


“Research shows that one in four of us will experience depression in our lifetime so at the very least we will all know someone who has this very debilitating mental illness.


“AWARE have a number of self help groups, one of which is based in Downpatrick, that enables those affected by depression to share experiences and find information and support.


“Depression is still a widely misunderstood illness and the stigma attached to mental health prevents many people from asking for help.The community outreach programme has doubled in the last year and I commend everyone working to help provide support for people with depression.


“Throughout the year groups like AWARE have been promoting the importance of the Mental Health First Aid Programme that is designed for any person or group that might be in a position to help individuals recover from a mental health problem. These courses are being delivered to teachers, youth, workers, police officers and trade union officials and they are one way of providing much needed support to the many people affected by this issue.


“There is also an innovative educational programme based on cognitive behavioural therapy that is available and AWARE Defeat Depression believes providing information about depression is an important tool to aid an individual’s recovery.


“This was an informative discussion about their programme and Sinn Féin will do everything possible to ensure the treatment of people with a mental illness is a priority.” ENDS


Connect with Sinn Féin