30 Sept 2022

New initiative to tackle addiction and mental health issues in Tipperary

Carmha launches major campaign to raise funds

New initiative to tackle addiction and mental health issues in Tipperary

Dr Marie Oppeboen and Donal Ryan of Carmha

A new group to tackle mental health and addictions in Tipperary will launch a major fundraising campaign this weekend.

Carmha, which will be based in Nenagh, is the first group to develop Ireland’s first specialised centre for providing counselling and support for people with mental health and addiction issues or so-called dual diagnosis.

Carmha is a unique initiative developed by passionate professionals working in mental health and addiction alongside people with personal and family experience of this, who will be hosting the Good Carmha Weekend.

The events during the weekend are aimed at highlighting the essential need for this service, promoting good mental health, connecting people and bringing the local community together.

The weekend will also be used to launch Carmha’s fundraising appeal to enable it to open its Silver Street premises daily with two full-time professionals and a number of volunteers.

The weekend event starts this Thursday, February 28, at 8pm in Nenagh Arts Centre with the Carmha Story in which experts and survivors will give talks about exploring trauma, addiction, mental health and recovery including personal stories.

Saturday will see the Carmha Tattoo Day in the Carmha Centre, 81 Silver Street, which will feature a pop-op café, live music and great raffle prizes, including a signed Tipperary hurling jersey and Munster Rugby tickets. The event runs from 9am to 7pm.

On Sunday, there is a Carmha Health and Wellness Day in the Carmha Centre from 9am to 6pm, featuring professional therapeutic massages, reflexology, Indian head massage, mindfulness meditation, acupuncture, QiGong classes and free health and wellness talks.

The concept behind Carmha was developed by Dr Marie Oppeboen, a psychiatrist working in the area of mental health, and addiction counsellor / psychotherapist Donal Ryan, who recognised the need for intervention over six years ago.

“Because addiction and mental health issues are dealt with by two separate services here in Ireland, many people end up falling between two stools and not getting the help they need and deserve,” said Dr Oppeboen.

Mr Ryan said that if the door was closed in front of them, or if they just get placed on some waiting list, that opportunity was lost and we might not get it again.

After consulting people with first-hand experience, family members and several community services affected by addiction and mental health issues in the Nenagh area, Carmha was set up to try and better meet people’s needs in North Tipperary.

Since it was set up, Carmha has gained a lot of support within the Nenagh community but funding remains a challenge. Nearly every day Carmha members are contacted by people desperately looking for support, and family members in despair unable to find help for their loved ones.

Carmha now needs all the help it can get from the local community to allow it open its doors and start providing these much-needed services in Nenagh. It is appealing to the public to support its upcoming fundraising events. Booking for Nenagh Arts Centre on February 28 is through 067-34400 or online. Booking for tattoos and wellness treatments at 087-7722671.

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