First Fortnight - mental health awareness

Every year the First Fortnight charity organises a festival in the first two weeks of the year aimed at making the beginning of each year synonymous with mental health awareness, challenging prejudice and ending stigma. This year the First Fortnight festival runs from 6th to 15th January 2023.

When an individual’s ability to cope and contribute to daily life is impaired this is a mental health issue. This is more common than perceived as one in four persons can experience a mental health difficulty at some point in their life. Stress, bullying, addiction, bereavement are some of the factors which can affect our ability to cope with daily life. Unfortunately people who experience mental health problems can feel very isolated, alone and misunderstood.

As part of our efforts to provide support and raising awareness of mental health issues Westmeath Libraries stocks a wide range of items that may help. Reading can provide support, guidance, direction and empower the reader to work toward maintaining good mental health. Help lines and websites can also be a source of support and help. These materials can also be beneficial for concerned family members and friends.

Useful Websites:

Emergeny / Crisis Numbers

  • Your local GP or MIDoc - 1850 302702
  • Gardaí/Emergency services - 999 / 112
  • The Samaritans - 116 123 or text : 087 2609090 or email :
  • 24/7 Suicide helpline - 1800 247247 or text "help" to 51444
  • Aware - 1890 303302 or email:
  • Farm and Rural Stress helpline - 1800 742645
  • Childline - 1800 666 666

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