All posts by actionmentalhealth

AMH Meets Oscar!

Oorlagh George (4th from left) and her Academy Award

AMH welcomes “Academy Award Winner” Oorlagh George

The clients and staff in AMH New Horizons had “two” very important visitors this week.  Academy Award winner, Oorlagh George popped in to our Downpatrick unit in Ballydugan Road to show everyone her Oscar and chat about the Awards Ceremony, The Shore and future projects.

Gerard, who invited Oorlagh to AMH, gets to hold the Oscar!

Oorlagh recently won an Academy Award in the category Short Film (Live Action) for The Shore.  Oorlagh, raised money for the film and acted as its producer. The film was directed and written by Oorlagh’s father, Terry George, who had previously been nominated for his screenplays for Hotel Rwanda and In the Name of the Father.

Carol Boyd, Client Development Co-ordinator & Oorlagh George




The Shore was filmed at Terry George’s family cottage at Coney Island near Ardglass.  It stars major Northern Ireland actors, including Ciaran Hinds, Maggie Cronin and Conleth Hill.

The Shore is about a man who immigrated to America 25 years ago to escape the Troubles and is now bringing his daughter back to meet his childhood friends, while harbouring a dark secret.

Celebrating The Year of the Dragon!

On 23 January 2012, AMH New Horizons in Foyle had a Chinese Feast to welcome in the Chinese New Year.  The year 2012 is the 4709th Chinese year and is the Year of the Black Water Dragon!

On the menu for starters were Mini BBQ Ribs, Mini Vegetable Spring Roll and Chilli Chicken Wingsfollowed by Chicken marinated in Chilli, Ginger, Garlic Yoghurt and Coriander, served on bed of Lemon Scented Rice – all beautifully prepared by some of our talented clients and staff!

One day …… Oh how I wish

My life feels like a china shop and I am the preverbial bull

Oh how I wish I thought the glass was half full

Oh how I wish to get better using all my strength and might

Oh how I wish I could get a restful sleep at night.

Often I feel very sad, down and blue

Oh how I wish people could be honest and true

Sometimes I feel poorly, sick and ill

Oh how I wish I could be fixed with a pill

I can be contacted through phone, mail or fax

Oh how I wish I could learn to relax

I feel part of my life my illness did rob

Oh how I feel I could still do my job

Somedays are good and somedays are bad

O how I wish I wouldn’t feel so sad

Often my heart races so  fast I feel I’m dying

Oh how I wish I could stop this constant crying

When I broke my leg it was fixed with a cast

Oh how I wish I could forget about the past

At times I felt good, like a proper superhero

Oh how I wish I wouldn’t feel like zero

Often I feel grey and dull from this has begun

Oh how I wish I felt bright like the sun

Sometimes I feel I can’t deal with my issues

Oh how I wish I wouldn’t need so many tissues

Often I feel that I am not a good wife

Oh how I wish I could get a handle on life.

I understand life is not always a picnic in the park

Oh how I wish my life wasn’;t so dark

I love my family to me they are very dear

Oh how I wish I wasn;’t so consumed by fear

Everyday I fight negativity with all my might

Oh how I wish there was a silver lining in sight

Somedays I am laughing, somedays in a huff

Oh how I wish my head wasn’t full of rubbish stuff

Often I wake and could be in a good or bad mood

Oh how I wish more people understood

Sometimes I fee like winter, cold, windy and rain

Oh how I wish I didn’t feel in so much pain

I never know what role people want me to play

Oh how I wish I didn’t feel this way

It’s the end of the poem I have nothing more to say

Oh how I wish I was better…………One Day

by Tracy

Young People & Social Networking

What is social networking?

Social Networking sites are websites where you can create a profile all about yourself and keep in touch with friends. On these sites you can also upload photos, music and videos to share with people, and on some sites, have 1-2-1 chats with people. Popular social networking websites include MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and Bebo. They are used by people of all ages and some people have profiles on more than one website.

Why is it good?

Keeping in contact with friends and renewing past friendships is one of the main benefits of social networking. Even if you have a friend who lives far away, social networking sites allow individuals from all around the world opportunity to maintain convenient and accessible contact. This provides us with a window to learn new things about distant countries, people and cultures.

Why can social networking be bad sometimes?

While the benefits of social networking sites are undeniable, it is important to recognise and understand the downside of social networking. The most common danger can involve individuals who claim to be someone they are not. This is because meeting someone face to face and deciding if they are who they say they are is much easier than deciding over an online conversation. The fact that we cannot see the person or hear their voice for example, makes the decision much more difficult.

Another problem with social networking sites is that they provide an environment for cyber bullying to take place. Cyber bullying is when a person, or a group of people, uses the internet to tease or abuse someone. Many users of social networking sites feel anonymous and lose their normal self-restraint behind a computer screen. That which starts as a minor face to face disagreement can develop into a nasty and persistent attack via a social networking site. It is against the law to bully someone in this way and if someone is being mean or threatening you, something can be done to stop them.

If you are being bullied through the internet you can stop it by:

  • Talking to someone you trust like a parent or teacher.
  • Not replying to any messages you receive form the bullies.
  • Keeping a copy of the abusive emails or messages that you receive and when they were sent to you.
  • Never giving out any personal details on the internet such as your real name, address, age or phone number.
  • Changing your online nicknames or user ID to something different.
  • Blocking the email address or deleting the person as a friend if the bullying is taking place on a social networking site like facebook.

Is it safe to meet up with someone you have met on a social networking site?

It is not a good idea to arrange to meet people that you have chatted to online, as you can never be sure if they are who they say they are. If you do decide to meet up with them, tell someone you trust, such as a parent, that you want to do this. Arrange to meet in a public place and take a trusted adult with you.

By being aware of your cyber-surroundings and who you are talking to, you should be able to safely enjoy social networking online, but there are some extra tips which you can follow to make sure you are safe while using the internet.

How you can create a safe social networking profile.

  • Set your privacy settings so only people you trust can look at your profile.
  • Protect yourself by not posting information about your movements.
  • Be careful when it comes to putting on photographs – if you are not happy with the whole world seeing it, then do not post it.
  • Watch what you share. Never put your personal address, phone number or full name on a social networking site.
  • Only add/accept people as friends if you know them in person.

To report suspicious behaviour online contact CEOP (The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre), which offers advice to parents and young people on using the internet safely.  In addition, The CEOP now has an emergency button on most social networking sites, so young people and parents have a way to report suspect contacts and find out more about the problem.

For more information on staying safe on the internet visit:

If you would like further information on local organisations and sources of support, please do not hesitate to contact us at AMH MensSana on 02838 392314 or e-mail Confidentiality will be respected at all times.

“Ma” celebrates with AMH!

Down County Museum will play host to the annual celebration and award ceremony for clients who attend AMH New Horizons in Downpatrick later today.   

Presenting the awards this year will be special guest the actress and performer, Olivia Nash, best known for playing “Ma” in BBC’s “Give My Head Peace”.  A total of 70 clients will receive awards including NVQ’s in Horticulture, European Computer Driving Licence as well as many OCN accredited qualifications in a variety of subjects such as Confidence Building, Information Technology and Employability.

The special Endeavour Award will be presented and there is also an award for Photographer of the Year and this year’s Pool Champion!

The event starts at 2pm

Looking Back – Christmas 2011

The AMH Gang in the Great Hall

Our Christmas Celebrations got off to a wonderful start, when AMH were invited to take part in the “annual switching-on of the Christmas lights” in Parliament Buildings.  The event, hosted by The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Mr William Hay MLA, was dedicated to people who face the daily challenge of living with mental health issues and attended by a range of guests including the Health Committee and other Mental Health Organisations.

The Speaker welcomed his guests, and Ann Donnelly, who works closely with AMH in Craigavon & Banbridge, kicked off the evening by performing a monologue entitled “Persona Non Grata”.  David Babington, CEO AMH then spoke briefly about the work of AMH, followed by Bronagh McVeigh from AMH New Horizons Newry, who talked about living with mental ill health and her road to recovery.  The evening concluded with Dinner.

David Babington CEO, Speaker William Hay MLA, Lynda Bryans AMH Patron

David Babington said, 

“I’d particularly like to thank the Speaker for recognising the important issue of mental health.  Mental Illness is not going to go away, quite the contrary, the number affected in our community is growing and likely to increase particularly in these challenging economic times. At this festive event, it is worth pausing and thinking how all of us can work together to help those people living with mental ill health. “

Health in Mind/Personal Development

The following clients have participated in Health in Mind funded Personal Development programmes across AMH services

 “The Colour Me Beautiful course has given me confidence in choosing clothes and make-up.” ALMA

“The Colour Me Beautiful course has shown me how to feel confident in my appearance and body shape”  LAURA

“With having a young child I found the First Aid course very interesting and useful”  WENDY

“I found the Yoga course relaxing and my body seems more toned.  It made me feel more health conscious about my wellbeing” MARK

“Found the Yoga course very good at relieving stress and anxiety” ANGELA

“The Crafts course was interesting and made me think about different things I’d like to do.  It lifted my mood when I felt low.” AMANDA

“Very interesting group.  The Craft course was great.  It brings out the best in people.” KATE

“The Craft course has helped me mix with people gain.  It has also brought me out of myself and I communicate better with people.  I have learned crafts I never thought I could do.  It has been a great help to my mental health” ANGELA

“Found the Positive Steps course very enjoyable.  Varied topics and activities.  Lots of useful information on services available in the area and support.” JAYNE

“The Stress Management course was a great chance for me to change my thoughts and behaviour when challenging negative thoughts.  Attending my first course was very frightening.  New people, the unknown.  As this course has passed I have become more settled mentally and look forward so much to seeing the group.  I have become stronger to face my fears of negative situations.” CAROL

“The Stress Management course was quite an eye opener.  It helped me to unload some feelings/emotions.  Its gave me an awareness of things I easily can do to help myself and my wellbeing.”RODNEY