MEN living in the Mournes and Crotlieve District Electoral Areas (DEAs) had a special opportunity to attend a Men’s Health event at The Whistledown Hotel.
The event, organised by The Mournes and Crotlieve DEAs and funded through the Department for Communities, focused on connecting men to support and services provided by local organisations. It also highlighted the benefits of alternative therapies and practices for dealing with the day to day stresses of everyday life through a number of practical taster sessions.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Cathy Mason said, “It is well known that health isn’t something that many men like to talk about. This event was a great way to get men talking about health in a relaxed social setting while signposting them to information on how and where they can find out more about dedicated local services and support.
Chairperson, Cllr Cathy Mason continued, “As a Council we strive to improve the health and wellbeing of everyone in the community and this event is an example of our commitment to delivering on this as a priority.”
On the day, guest speaker and musician, Conal Montgomery, delivered a motivational and powerful presentation of his personal struggles with mental health and how he channelled the experience into positive ways including putting his experiences, thoughts and feelings on paper and producing his very own album. He expressed the difficulties that both he and his family experienced on a daily basis and how he was able to learn and grow from the experience.
Tessa Ann from The Sound Healing Spa engaged the men in a sound therapy workshop to educate everyone on how various instruments and sound can be used to treat physical and mental wellbeing. Indigenous societies around the world traditionally use sound healing in various forms and some of the instruments used in the session included Tibetan sound bowls, rainsticks, voice work and gongs. It was an educational experience, highlighting the impact of sound not only through the use of instruments but through the power of our own voice.
Wellbeing NI presented a Mindfulness workshop, educating on the power of our breath and how we can both relax and invigorate ourselves through various breathing techniques and the ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we are doing and how not to be reactive and overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
The men who attended the event had expressed how beneficial the experience was for finding relaxation techniques that work for them. Each participant had a unique experience and was able to improve on recognising their mental health needs from the variety of sessions delivered on the day.