Earlier this month, a group of young people from County Longford joined 200 other delegates from across Ireland for Dáil na nÓg 2013.
“Between four and 10 people from each county group of Comhairle na nÓg travelled to Croke Park for it,” one of the Longford representatives, John Doran, told the Longford Leader.
“First of all, we were split into groups of eight and we talked about projects we could set up throughout the year, as well as one idea for a national project. All those ideas were then put to a vote to decide which recommendation we’d focus on for the coming year ” John explained.
From 20 submissions, it took three rounds of voting before a mental health gathering was chosen as the top recommendation. This will now be followed up over the next two years by the Comhairle na nÓg National Executive and they will work with Government department and agencies to make it a reality. The project will include music and events to improve attitudes towards mental health.
“The national groupincludes a member from each Cohmairle around the country and will meet once a month to work on the project,” John continued. “Each local group will also work on projects based on the mental health theme. Our group meets up on ever second Tuesday, and last week we discussed our options, and at our next meeting we’ll have a fair idea of what we want to do.”
Speaking to the delegates the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald, praised the decision to focus on mental health.
“I know that many of you are focussing on this issue through initiatives on mental health in your local Comhairle na nÓg.”