COW about that? Young people in Connemara form community wellness group

galway daily cow wellness group connemara cow
Under the Alcock & Brown Statues in Clifden: Back row L-R Roisin Gallagher Burke, Jerry Ward, Aileen Joyce. Middle row L-R Thomas Mannion, Eric Diamond, Chloe Molloy. Front row L-R Marie Feeney (Forum) and Cora Gibbons

An inspirational group of young people in Connemara have come together to form a community wellness group which has so far launched a new youth support product and a radio series.

The Community of Wellness group, fantastically abbreviated as ‘The COW’, is distributing fridge magnets with 24-hour contact details to mental health support services after launching the product last week.

Working with Mary O’ Sullivan of the HSE, the Forum Connemara Adolescent Support and Ability Projects, and Connemara Care on the project, the COW’s magnets are now being handed out through Connemara businesses, community organisations, and housing estates.

Before this project, the COW put together an inspiring a radio series to build awareness of wellbeing and mental health services available for young people.

The series broadcast on Connemara Community Radio with the support of two local organisations, Forum Connemara CLG Ability and Connemara Care.

Mary O’Sullivan, the HSE Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention in Community Healthcare West, said that they support this work as it is in line with the goals set out in ‘Connecting for Life’ – a Suicide Prevention Action Plan for Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.

“One of the goals in this plan is to support local communities to be more confident, informed and connected to help mental wellbeing,” said Mary.

“Initiatives like ‘The COW’ highlight the importance of communities coming together to look out for one another and explore ways to improve their mental health and wellbeing.”

The next endeavour for the young community volunteers is setting up ‘Walk and Talk Routes’ to get people out in the evening.

This will be organised for all members of the community and will adhere to all public health guidelines and protocols concerning Covid-19.

Marie Feeney, Project Co-ordinator of the Forum Connemara Adolescent Support Project, said that they have a wealth of ideas and enthusiasm for many more initiatives in the community. She said that she has no doubt they will make their many visions a reality.

The Cow spokesperson, Jerry Ward, added: “The overall consensus of the group is that we are delighted to be helping create public awareness at a community level of the great organisations that are there to help and support people when they need it.

Additionally, feedback from the community on Saturday was well received and it made us feel that we will do all we can to make this work with others as The Community Of Wellness, aka The COW.”