Men’s Positive Living Group look after Midleton’s Mental Health

By Seamus Whelehan

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A new support network for men’s mental and physical health is about to be established in Midleton.  The ‘Men’s Positive Living Group’ will host  an Open evening at Midleton Holistic Centre, 2 Main Street, Midleton at 7:30pm on Friday 18 January and will meet there every Friday for a ten-week period from February.

The informal weekly sessions, facilitated by Tom Conlon, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, are designed to help men of all ages to work with others to protect themselves by pointing out the signs and symptoms of stress.  Whilst life’s ups and downs, financial pressures, relationship break ups are all natural stressors, some people will overcome these stresses through help from peers. Other people don’t, as they feel they don’t want to be a burden.  When these stresses are prolonged, this is when there is an issue.

With one in five people having a significant problem with stress, including anxiety and panic, the group “will enable men of all ages to meet others in a similar life situation, share stories and experiences, and access information and practical advice in a relaxed, understanding and supportive environment” said Mr Conlon.

As a healthy lifestyle demands proper nutrition and exercise to create a balanced mood and feelings of wellbeing, Kara Reilly from East Cork Nutrition will contribute to the work of the group.

Over the course of the programme participants will learn how adequate amounts of complex carbohydrates, essential fats, amino acids, vitamins and minerals can aid recovery and sit alongside other treatments recommended by your GP.

The importance of physical fitness in building good mental health may also be a feature of the group work.

Tom Conlon, an expert in facilitating group work, also said that communication is key.

“Being listened to is a critical component in effective mental health. It is essential to be involved in an effective listening environment where you can vocalise your thoughts, such as being part of a support group or working with a psychotherapist.”

Conlon says the main sign that someone is experiencing a mental health issue is a significant or sudden change in a life pattern.

He also says that “evidence shows that behavioural training techniques, such as mindfulness meditation, can help with the management of mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression and addiction. Cognitive techniques such as structured problem solving may also be useful.”

Mr Conlon encourages all those with an interest in improving mental health to attend the Open Evening but asks you to contact him on 086-3688824 or email tom@tomconlon.ie to reserve a place.

Any Health Practitioners wishing to contribute to the work of the group can also contact Tom on  the above details.

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