This Father’s Day people from across Galway are being invited to South Park, Galway to fly a kite for men and boys’ mental health.
Mental health a serious problem in our society, with a disproportionate number of men taking their lives each year.
Suicide statistics show that of roughly 500 people that take their lives every year in Ireland, approximately 400 are men and around 100 are women.
This event is meant as a way to acknowledge this problem within society and to highlight how many men are finding it difficult to communicate when they are struggling, worried or having a hard time.
It’s hoped that there will be at least 300 kites flying on June 16 to create a powerful visual show of support for men and boys.
Kites are available to buy from the organisers with all proceeds going to local youth mental health charity Jigsaw.
People are also welcome to bring their own kites on the day or to simply come along and enjoy the spectacle.
“From a young age many men are taught not to express emotion and that to do so is seen as weak,” said one of the organisers Stephen Walton.
“Let’s open up the conversation and let men and boys know that it’s OK to talk openly about how they feel.”
“Because a society that encourages healthy communication is a better society for everyone. ”
Jigsaw is the National Centre for Youth Mental Health and the funds raised by this event will help them to deliver their vital services here in Galway
The event is also a tribute to those who have lost their lives in the River Corrib. That’s one of the reasons that it was decided to locate the event beside the river at South Park.
“This event is hoping to shine more light on men’s emotional needs and by flying a kite together on Fathers’ Day, we can help to begin conversations among people to show that there is hope, there is a way things can get better and that not being OK or even happy is completely normal,” Walton added.
The event takes place at South Park ‘The Swamp’, at midday on Sunday, June 16 and will last for about one hour.
photo: Julia Dunin