Eimear Considine is helping young people focus on their mental health ahead of Six Nations clash against England this weekend.
Mental health is an important issue that should always be talked about. In a recent study, commissioned by Zurich and Rugby Players Ireland, it was revealed that one in five parents don’t believe their child understands the importance of mental wellbeing and 68% of parents agreed that schools prioritise their child’s physical health over their mental health.
Clare native and Irish rugby player, Eimear Considine is helping to raise awareness of mental wellbeing amongst Irish teenagers with the ‘The Tackle Your Feelings’ campaign. Aimed at school children to take control of their mental health by encouraging positive development which they can bring into adulthood, the campaign introduced to TY students talks about the reality of life struggles and pressures that come along in life and school.
Ireland rugby international Eimear reassured that the campaign “addresses those anxieties, stresses and worries by creating a helpful resource”. Eimear experienced her own tragic loss as a teenager when her beloved father passed away. “My dad got a heart attack when I was 14 and he died in front of myself and my sister when we were at the beach. I never really speak about it, but it puts life into perspective”. Now 28, a secondary school teacher based in Dublin, she realises the importance of talking about mental health. “The key message is to get your support network and find out who these people are to share problems. It does help to talk about things. And that’s the most important key message”.
Eimear sees the everyday issues teenagers can have. From her own experience and by talking about it, she understands how to cope with certain things. This is one of the main reasons why Eimear decided to get involved with the campaign. “I’m in a role where I can play rugby, where [young people] can see me as an ambassador. Whether it’s a death in the family, or a down day, everyone has issues. With Tackle Your Feelings, there are strategies and structures in place to help you deal with it if you are feeling a certain way. The main aim is to take control of your own mental wellbeing and to take time out to get the support network and share your issue with them.”
The study also proved that 84% of parents agree that seeing role models like rugby players ‘taking control’ of their mental wellbeing empowers their child to start talking. The app and classroom-based programme uses principles of both sport and positive psychology.
Eimear, who has recently returned back from injury, will be representing Ireland in their huge game against England in the Six Nations this Sunday. After two brilliant performances and wins against Scotland and Wales, the pressure is on the Irish team to continue on their successful journey: “To be the best, we have to beat the best. We are under no illusions – it’s going to be a tough game. They are great rugby players, they’re professionals.”
For more information on ‘The Tackle Your Feelings’ campaign follow the Instagram account @tyf, or visit the website tackleyourfeelings.com which shares videos, updates, inspiring stories on events and competitions.