Local Mental Health Advocate Appointed To Government Taskforce

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Jim Breen and Minister Helen McEntee

Jim Breen with Minister for Mental Health ad Older People, Helen McEntee.

CYCLE AGAINST SUICIDE founder, Jim Breen, has been appointed to the Government Taskforce on Youth Mental Health.

The Taskforce is to be chaired by Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Helen McEntee and includes other high profile advocates and personalities, such as Dr Shari McDaid of Mental Health Reform and Rob Hennelly, Mayo senior footballer.

Musician, Bressie, is to co-chair a young persons’ reference group with previous youth adviser to Jigsaw, Emma Farrell.

A Galway native, Jim Breen is the founder and CEO of Pulse Learning based in Kerry Technology Park for many years.

In response to this announcement, Jim Breen was clear in his praise for McEntee’s plan for the Taskforce, asserting that it reflects core elements of Cycle Against Suicide’s vision: to create an island of Ireland where “It’s OK not to feel OK; and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help”.

He added; “This invitation to sit on the new Taskforce is an honour certainly, but more than that, it’s an enormous acknowledgement of the great work that our volunteers at Cycle Against Suicide do to break the cycle of suicide on the island of Ireland.

According to Minister Helen McEntee “It will be very much tasked with being an action group, so it’s not going to put together a report that is going to sit on a shelf – it will put together actual physical actions that can be implemented within communities” she said.

The Taskforce will aim to use the school system to enhance awareness among children and young people, and consequently reduce the stigma that often surrounds mental ill health. It will also educate young people about the supports that are available to them within their own communities, and work towards ensuring and reinforcing the accessibility of these services.

Jim Breen founded Cycle Against Suicide in 2013, after his appearance on RTÉ’s “The Secret Millionaire”.

Each year the charity engages with individuals, schools and communities through initiatives such as the 14-day main Cycle around the island of Ireland, Events Against Suicide, a dynamic week long programme of events which runs from Monday, September 5th to Sunday, September 11th, and a SpinOff series of locally organised cycles.

The Cycle Against Suicide Tralee SpinOff, where up to 800 cyclists are expected to cycle 50km route before leading home the Rose parade takes place on Saturday, August 20.

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