Over €100,000 raised for mental health supports through national sea swimming challenge
Over €100,000 has been raised for mental health supports through a national sea swimming challenge which took place across Ireland in October.
Almost 500 participants took part in Helplink's Coldtober initiative every day, with volunteers sea swimming in local areas to raise money for the mental health service.
Helplink is a free or low cost out-of-hours service available locally in County Mayo and County Galway, nationally and internationally seven days a week.
Its founder and CEO, Lochlann Scott, gave thanks to people for their generosity and said, "When we launched Coldtober this year we were hoping for around 100 people to take up the challenge. Never in our wildest dreams did we expect nearly 500 people from across 21 counties to take up the challenge!
"People’s generosity is just amazing and because of that generosity we are in an even better position to continue to enhance and expand the mental health services we offer to children, young people and adults 7 days a week."
The €129,000 raised will reportedly go towards continuing the service's everyday supports, and enhancing the e-learning platform, Mindhacks.ie, as well as supporting the potential for a third office location in Athlone for people in the County Roscommon and Midlands area.
Irish surfer and ambassador for the challenge, Dr Easkey Britton, believes the sea can help people who suffer with mental health issues.
She said, "Coldtober created a more positive approach to how we experience, understand and promote our mental health. People discovered how the sea and cold water immersion can also help our mental health in so many ways.
"The multi-sensory nature of water stimulates all our senses bringing us back into our bodies instead of feeling stuck in our heads. That’s one of the reasons why it feels so freeing and energising, helping to reduce stress and anxiety."
Anyone experiencing mental health issues can contact Helplink on 0818 99 88 80.
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