Stay Healthy

The Importance of Peer to Peer Support For Young Adults

According to the World Health Organisation, the number one health issue for young people globally is their mental health. While people can experience mental ill-health at any time of their life, the onset of mental disorders peaks during adolescence and early adult years with recent studies identifying mental health problems – in particular depression, as the leading cause of disability among young people aged 10-24 years around the world*.

Dr. Lisa Lawless, GP with a special interest in Student Health and Board member at Aware commented: “Every day we are seeing more young adults present to their GP with symptoms of depression and anxiety. Many find it difficult to talk about their problems with those closest to them and suffering with a mental illness can feel like a very lonely place. I always encourage young people to access supports early as a vital step to their recovery.”

The Aware Young Adults’ Support & Self Care Groups offer a unique opportunity for individuals aged 18-26 to talk openly about anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and other related conditions and their impact. Peers share their experience and understanding and offer an exchange of thoughts and techniques around self-care and resilience in a supportive, confidential and proactive environment.

 

If you think you should talk to someone about how you’ve been feeling the last little while, Aware are running a series of free weekly meetings both in Cork and Dublin. The free weekly meetings take place at the following locations:

– Dublin Young Adults’ Support & Self Care Group: 9 Upper Leeson Street, Dublin 4, every Thursday at 7.30pm

– Cork Young Adults’ Support & Self Care Group: Inniscarraig Centre, Western Road, Cork every Wednesday at 8pm

What to expect at an Aware Young Adults’ Support & Self Care Group?

When you arrive at an Aware Support Group, you are greeted by two Aware volunteer facilitators who provide you with literature about Aware services. A facilitator opens the meeting by outlining the group rules including confidentiality (within normal limits) and explaining the purpose of the Aware Support Group. Facilitators introduce themselves by their first name only and invite all attending to do likewise. The meeting is declared open to anyone who would like to share. To gain understanding for the group, a facilitator may ask some questions to clarify what has been shared. The facilitator asks the person sharing if they want feedback from the group and if so, opens to the group for their thoughts and support. A facilitator briefly summarises any options offered by the group before allowing the space for others to share.

A proactive approach is used throughout the Support Group meeting in which participants can express emotion, acknowledge feelings, question thoughts and beliefs and focus particularly on helpful actions they can take.

For more information on Aware Support & Self Care Groups, please visit www.aware.ie. Confidentially within normal limits applies.

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