Donegal GAA and The Samaritans Launch at tonight’s County Committee
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Once the GAA identified the need for a mental health partner to help cater for the emotional wellness of its members, Samaritans was an obvious choice. While both are 32 county organisations with an ethos based on volunteerism, the GAA and Samaritans share many other core values and aspirations.
One of the main goals of this partnership is to work together, through our branches, our clubs and our community, to end the stigma associated with mental health and to encourage those who need help to reach out at any time to Samaritans 24 hour, 365-days-a-year helpline, or to one of your fellow Gaels.
To support this call to action, a poster campaign promoting the Samaritans’ various support services will be delivered to every GAA club in Ireland to be displayed prominently in their clubhouses and changing rooms. Another strand to this promotional campaign will see a Samaritans presence at select club and county games throughout 2014, including articles in match programmes, the distribution of promotional merchandise at games, and presentations on stadium screens.
Underpinning the partnership at grassroots will be the linking of Samaritans at a local level with the newly established County Health & Wellbeing Committees. This will be done through a network of regional liaison officers that has been put in place by Samaritans, with a specific remit to link in with their relevant county committees. From this local connection, a number of training workshops will also be offered, that will provide training in the areas of active listening skills, emotional health and support for self. As the partnership develops it is hoped to include the delivery of awareness talks across the 32 counties.
The last key element of this partnership in 2014 will be the support by the GAA of the Samaritans annual 24/7 national awareness and fundraising campaign, which runs throughout July, peaking on the 24th of the month – the date highlights the 24 /7 nature of the service Samaritans provide.
If you would like any more information regarding this partnership and how you can help support it, please contact: Samaritans / GAA.

Samaritans has been named as one of the GAA’s official charities for 2014 by an tUachtarán CLG, Liam O’Neill. As well as receiving a donation from the Association of €20,000, the opportunity offers Samaritans the prospect to increase the awareness of their work through the networks of the GAA. We hope you support us in trying to make this happen.