Football team puts the boot into stigma

A group of people who use mental health service in Dublin North recently played a 5-a-side match against a team comprising Dublin City Council staff members in Kilmore Hall, Coolock, and it proved to be a big success.   

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

People who suffer from mental health issues  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. One of the team said: “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 have lived experience to engage in meaningful activities which promote inclusion, improve self confidence and enhance recovery.

‘Over The Line’ is continuing to blossom with the support of Shane Manton, clinical nurse specialist and Kevin Callanan, occupational therapist.

The team is looking forward to a continued supportive relationship with Jason Dunbar, Kilmore West Centre Manager, and Dublin City Council staff in a bid to put the boot into stigma.

Pictured at the event in Kilmore were (back, l-r): Kelvin Oseitutu, Jason Dunbar, Kevin Callanan, Anthony Kelly, Shane Manton, Gareth Elliott, David Wethero, Keith Dowling; and (bottom, l-r): Derek O’Neill, David Gibbons, Anthony Cray, Michael McLoughlin, Martin Moloney, Daniel Russell, Kevin McMah