‘Hello, How Are You?’ engages with people in the community
Lesley (Community & Family Development Worker), Cara (Student on Placement), Audrey (Facilitator), Phyllis and Friends

‘Hello, How Are You?’ engages with people in the community

ST KEVIN’S Family Resource Centre held a mental health walk for staff and members of the community as part of Mental Health Ireland’s ‘Hello, How Are You?’ Campaign.

The walk took place on Thursday, April 7, following a week-long awareness campaign for mental health. The ‘Hello, How Are You?’ campaign is an initiative that encourages people to say hello to someone and ask them how they are with the intention of actively listening. This initiative is about engaging people in conversations, where they will actively listen and learn how others are feeling and offer support to those who need it.

Speaking about the campaign, Lesley from KFRC told The Echo: “The campaign started in 2015, and the Carlow Mental Health Association created ‘Hello Carlow, How Are You?’ and they rolled it out for the first time.

“In 2018 they got Mental Health Ireland involved to try promote it and make it national and over the years it has grown between the different counties. This year, Mental Health Ireland had asked for the family resource centres to link in with them.”

Speaking about the importance of the campaign, Lesley says that it is about “creating awareness” as well as it being a way to engage with people in the community.

“When people think of mental health they often think of the darkness into light and the doom and gloom surrounding mental health, but coming out of Covid it is important to remember the anxieties and the fears that everybody has,” she explained.

“If you greet somebody with ‘hello, how are you?’ it makes a big difference, and even on the walk although there was a small group of us, everybody we met out and about in the community it instantly generated smiles and instigated a conversation.

“It is a lovely, positive way of engaging with people, and that is why I thought it was really important for us at KFRC to be involved because we have such a diverse community between older and younger and you are addressing mental health in a fun and positive way.”

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