Mental Health Event Inspires and Connects

6th October 2023
Fiona Dagg (Senior Mental Health Manager), Angela O’Hara (Recovery Network Co-Ordinator) & Rachel Gibbs (Director of Adult Services & Healthcare in Prison)

The Wellness Recovery Network in the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust hosted a ‘Mental Health & Wellbeing Connecting Event’ in Ards Leisure Centre which brought together individuals, community leaders and wellness professionals to engage in conversations, share experiences and explore the importance of mental health and wellbeing.

Mayor of Ards & North Down Borough Council, Councillor Jennifer Gilmour attended the event, which highlights the significance of community collaboration in promoting mental and physical health.

The event provided a space for open conversations and networking opportunities, all aimed at promoting wellness and recovery. Those attending also heard inspirational stories from those who have been on a mental health journey.

The Wellness Recovery Network singing for health group “Voices of Hope” gave an uplifting performance for those who attended, showing the power of music and singing for wellbeing.

Highlighting the success of the event, Recovery Network Co-Ordinator, Angela O’Hara said, “We are so delighted with the response we got from the event with over 100 people attending and with providers from across the community and Trust area attending, showcasing the help and support that is available for anyone struggling with their mental health or wanting to improve their wellbeing. It would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of the Wellness Recovery Network Committee and the morning really reflected our ethos and what our groups aim to achieve which is connection, fun and improving wellbeing.”

Senior Mental Health Manager, Fiona Dagg added, “World Mental Health Day takes place on 10 October and this event is the perfect prelude.  This year’s theme is “Creating Hope through Action”, this event certainly put this theme fully into action!

“The Wellness Recovery Network event was an uplifting, joyful celebration of mental health recovery.  I was moved by the courage of the people who shared their stories, experiences and poetry.  The sharing of these experiences helps other people, earlier in their recovery journey see that there is hope and that people can have meaning and purpose in their lives.

“The singing group ‘Voices of Hope’ demonstrated the power of music, connection and friendship as a fundamental part of someone’s recovery journey.  Huge thanks and congratulations to the volunteers and staff in the Wellness Recovery Network for bringing this event together, and for inspiring so many people.”