Limerick college turns green in solidarity

Mary Immaculate College's Tara Building.

IN solidarity with those who are experiencing challenges with their mental health, and in the spirit of opening conversations around mental wellbeing, one Limerick college has become a beacon in green.

Mary Immaculate College (MIC) has announced its support of and participation in this year’s See Change Green Ribbon campaign. Now in its 11th year, the See Change campaign is aimed at raising awareness and reducing the stigma around mental health issues. Organised by See Change, an Irish mental health organisation, the campaign takes place across the month of September each year.

Every year, individuals supporting the campaign can be seen sporting a green ribbon intended to symbolise their support for open and honest conversations around mental health.

In solidarity, and as a way of shining a light on mental health struggles in the community, the Tara Building in MIC’s Limerick campus will be illuminated in green  across this month. The main building of the college’s Thurles campus will also be lit up in green.

MIC is supporting this year’s campaign in partnership with the Leadership for Inclusion in the Early Years (LINC) programme, which focuses in inclusivity within the early childhood sector and acknowledges that mental health awareness begins at an early age and cultivating a supportive environment for children, educators, and families is vital in empowering them to navigate life’s challenges.

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Commenting on the college’s involvement in this year’s campaign, Professor Emer Ring, Dean of Education at MIC, said: “the Green Ribbon Campaign shines a light on the importance of our mental health and the need always to challenge discrimination and create an environment where everyone is empowered, respected, and enabled to achieve their potential.”

Each year the Green Ribbon campaign for 2023 adopts a specific theme, with this year’s theme set as ‘Judgement’. Across the month, those participating are tasked with exploring what mental health judgement is, where it shows up across society, how judgement impacts people with mental health difficulties, and what people can do to help end the unfair judgement of themselves and others.

See Change Ambassador Lucie Kavanagh welcomed the support from MIC, saying: “Huge strides have been made nationwide to eradicate stigma surrounding mental health difficulties but there is still a way to go. As long as secrecy and shame exist, it is a responsibility of us all to create a community, both inside and out of support services, to make it ok to start conversations and be heard without judgement or stereotypes. The green ribbon is a powerful reminder of this.”