Wednesday 8 February 2017: Marie McClenaghan: “AWARE”
Mrs McClenaghan was welcomed by Paul Gallagher who had invited her along to receive a donation from the club for “Aware“. It is a custom in the Club that the proceeds of the raffle held at the Christmas Luncheon is donated to a local charity of the President’s choosing. The raffle raised £315.00 and Paul who was President in 2016 chose “Aware” which supports individuals and families struggling to cope with mental health issues. The Omagh “Aware” group is one of 23 support groups in Northern Ireland, each requiring some £7,000 per year to stay active in the community. The money for the Omagh group is raised locally and used to fund weekly meetings which are open to all. The issue affecting most of those who attend is depression. Suicide has a traumatic impact on families as they struggle to come to terms with the loss of a loved one. One of the goals of “Aware” is the removal of the stigma which for too long has cloaked issues of mental health. Open meetings provide a safe place in which individuals and families can talk openly about their concerns. In the discussion which followed members of the Probus Club shared their own experience of supporting those close to them through difficult times. The session, while serious and sombre, had its lighter moments, laughter always being the best medicine.