Drugs project cycling 500k for dual diagnosis workshop
By Aideen O'Flaherty
STAFF from a community drugs project are cycling 500km this month to raise funds for a dual diagnosis workshop, to support people who are struggling with substance use and mental health issues.
The St Dominic’s Community Response Project in Tallaght hopes to develop the workshop after seeing an increase in service users seeking help for dual diagnosis in recent months.
Will Coakley and Jamie Doran will take part in the charity cycle
The manager of the response project, Jamie Doran, and his colleague Will Coakley are taking on the challenge, and so far, Jamie has already clocked up 200km for the fundraiser.
Explaining how the idea for the fundraiser came about, Jamie told The Echo: “Myself and Will are novice cyclists, and I’ve been involved in charity cycles in the past.
“We chose ‘500k in May’ as the fundraiser because we thought it had a good ring to it.”
He added: “We had been talking about the impact the pandemic has had on people’s mental health, and how we have seen service users who had turned their lives around but they had a relapse during the pandemic.
“This is a trend that we’d noticed in the referrals we were getting.”
Many of the referrals were for people who were struggling with a dual diagnosis relating to mental health and problematic substance use, and the difficulty they had encountered trying to receive help.
“We said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to start a dual diagnosis group to support them?’,” explained Jamie.
In order to set up the group, the response project will need additional funding – and they’re aiming to raise €1,000 as a result of 500k in May to enable them to do it.
“Everything on the news and in the papers is about Covid,” said Jamie, “but we’re not going to see the full fallout from this pandemic until a year or two afterwards.
“We’re losing service users [as a result of poor mental health] during the pandemic.
“We have to keep pushing forward and raise awareness that there’s not just the Covid pandemic, there’s a pandemic when it comes to substance use and mental health.”
The funds raised as a result of the charity cycle will be used to bring in facilitators with expertise in mental health, to collaborate with the response project workers’ expertise of treating problem substance use.
The aim will be to deliver educational and supportive workshops to people suffering with dual diagnosis, according to the response project.
Donations are being accepted online at gofund.me/78b75623.
For further information visit the St Dominic’s Community Response Project website at dominics.ie.
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