Introduction & Background
Over the past few years in Cavan there has been some unforgettable high points and some very low points, especially the tragic loss of family, friends, team-mates and neighbours, who took their own livesand there were also a number of near tragic events. Cavan GAA have been involved and continue to support clubs and individuals who have experienced trauma and tragedy. All communities have been adversely affected by Covid-19. Clubs have observed a marked increase in mental un-wellness, anxiety and addiction among 18 – 30 year oldsespecially. Clubs have expressed concern and sought the help of Cavan GAA and other organisations to support their members and people within their communities so that they can assist and guide these young people to get the necessary help if required.
In response, Cavan GAA Health and Wellbeing committee in partnership with HSE have developed The Stronger Programme which was launched at convention in December. The aim of this project is to develop a resource to help clubs and communities, to help with recognition of changing behaviours from a mental health viewpoint and identify people in difficulty, to help improve quality of life and in some cases to avert potential tragedy by early intervention and direction to appropriate professional help.
The GAA are one of the largest community organisations in the county with over 14,000 members across all 42 clubs. We believe that people coming together and supporting each other makes us stronger. We will use the phrase ‘Together we are Stronger’ to promote the campaign. You can view our Stronger video on Cavan GAA YouTube channel.
After analysing the feedback from the three online Stronger training evenings held in January, which were excellently delivered by Dr Paul Gaffney, our County Health & Wellbeing committee have organised 9 regional in-person Stronger Programme meetings, all to be presented by Paul Gaffney. These meetings are open to the community for anyone over 18 years and will take place during March & April. We ask you to share the meeting details within your communities and invite all adults, members, coaches, parents involved in sporting organisations and community groups to attend one of these meetings.
You are asked to pre-register for these meetings. Please attend the meeting in your local area if possible but you may register and attend an alternate date and venue. Registration will close at midnight the night before each meeting. You can register at https://bit.ly/StrongerReg
The Stronger Programme working group consists of Anne Fortune, Gerry Soden, Kevin Smith, Tom O’Reilly, Mark O’Rourke, James Moynagh and Tony Ryan. We especially thank Emer Mulligan (Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention with HSE in Cavan Monaghan) and Dr Paul Gaffney (Clinical Psychologist and Psychologist with our Senior Football team) for their guidance, help and ongoing support with the project. Further details from Chairperson Cavan GAA Health & Wellbeing committee Tony Ryan 086-8283500, Mark O’Rourke 087-2194717 or any member of our County Health & Wellbeing committee.
Together we are STRONGER