Putting The Boot In Stigma

Over the Hill football teamPictured are players from the Over The Line” football team and Dublin City Council staff members who played a 5-a-side game in Kilmore Hall, Coolock. Back row: Kelvin Oseitutu, Jason Dunbar, Kevin Callanan, Anthony Kelly, Shane Manton, Gareth Elliott, David Wethero, Keith Dowling. Front row: Derek O Neill, David Gibbons, Anthony Cray, Michael McLoughlin, Martin Moloney, Danial Russell, Kevin McMahon

On Thursday 14th December, a team of mental health service users played a 5-a-side game against a team composed of Dublin City Council staff members in Kilmore Hall Coolock.

“Over The Line” football team, which hails from North Dublin Mental Health Services, have been running for over three years and promotes positive physical and mental health.

People who suffer from mental health issues, e.g. depression, anxiety and psychosis sometimes experience social exclusion, feelings of anxiety and isolation. These issues can present challenges when engaging in social activities.

Developing relationships with community organisations becomes paramount when tackling stigma, building social support networks and promoting inclusion. The power of team sports should not be underestimated as one service user stated that “this is my favourite time of the week as the exercise helps me feel better”.

The building of important relationships with organisations such as Dublin City Council enables people who suffer from mental illness to engage in meaningful activities, which promote inclusion, improve self confidence and enhance recovery.

“Over The Line” football group continues to go from strength to strength over the past three years with the support of Shane Manton Clinical Nurse Specialist and Kevin Callanan Occupational Therapist.

Shane Manton told the County Leader: “The team are looking forward to the continued supportive relationship with Jason Dunbar, Kilmore West Centre Manager and Dublin City Council staff in putting the boot in stigma.