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Kind Niamh creates Facebook group to aid mental health

A THOUGHTFUL Gortin lady has set up a private group on Facebook to give local people of all ages and backgrounds a place to go if they need to talk, or be supported through the hard days.

At its essence, ‘Survive & Thrive’, established by Niamh Galwey, is a nonjudgmental, carefree safe space for its 300 members – and counting – and it encourages people to open up about the reality of their mental health or negative thoughts.

The 23-year-old was inspired to begin the ‘no frills approach’ page last spring during a difficult time of her life, and says that if you need support and somewhere to turn to, then it’s for you.

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“I recognised the fact that there are many places that share positive affirmations and happy clappy content, without allowing for the reality of mental health illnesses and the need for a good honest gurn – and the latter is what the group is about,” Niamh described.

“Today, the group has blossomed and my passion drives its ethos; it’s a safe space to talk about feelings, negative thoughts and hard times.

“It has allowed me to vent my feelings, while giving me somewhere to turn to.

“It has also helped so many people feel less alone, and less isolated in life and in their minds.

“People post everything from asking for sharing of resources to mental health-related memes!”

Niamh said that as every single person has a mental health, everyone has the capacity to develop an illness – whether it be short-term or long-term.

“We have to look after each other,” Niamh said. “The page is called ‘Survive & Thrive’ because to thrive, we must first survive, and to survive we must first reach out.”

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