Traveller Men climb the Holy Mountain to promote positive mental health

This week-end (May 28th) Traveller men climbed Croagh Patrick to promote positive mental health and raise money for the Traveller Counselling Service.

The Croagh Patrick challenge is the second of four challenges Traveller Men’s Action Plan (TMAP) has undertaken this year as a way of meeting up, promoting positive action and having a chance to discuss health issues – including mental health issues.

Mental health is at crisis point within the Traveller community with a suicide rate that is six times the national average.

“We need a Traveller Health Strategy to include Traveller mental health,” says Michael Collins of Pavee Point’s Men’s Health Programme.  “Poor living conditions and discrimination are impacting on Traveller mental health and we know from studies that services for Travellers are inadequate.”

“Travellers need  to be included in mainstream services but in a targeted way.”

The men have decided to use this opportunity to raise money for the independent Traveller Counselling Service which is struggling to survive. DSCF6078[1]DSCF6082[1]DSCF6085[1]DSCF6087[1]DSCF6098[1]DSCF6094[1]DSCF6091[1]

This service was launched in February 2008, initially as a one year pilot project which since has developed into a community based counselling service for the Traveller community.The service works from a culturally inclusive framework which respects Traveller culture, identity, values and norms and works from a perspective of culture centred counselling and psychotherapy.

TMAP is based in the Eastern Region and supported by the Eastern Region Traveller Health Network.