A LOCAL woman who recently organised Fermanagh’s very own dog show has raised over £400 in support of a local mental health service.
Sharon West of ‘Home from Home’ doggy day care felt it was important to “give back” due to the impact that Covid has had on the mental health of many, with awards given out on the day for best puppy, best dressed and much more.
“For the last eight years, I have always done something for charity, but it got more prevalent after losing both my parents to lung cancer so ‘Macmillan’ was normally my choice of charity.
“However, due to the outbreak of Covid and how it has affected people’s mental health, along with the number of suicides in our county, I wanted to be more specific and chose a charity that didn’t have much publicity.
“I chose the Action Mental Health ‘Boost’ programme here in Fermanagh, which supports people aged between 18 and 25 through training and courses that will help them get back on track.”
Sharon also spoke about her own experiences with anxiety over the years, and how mental health awareness now holds a special place in her heart.
“I have suffered from anxiety and have done since my 20’s but I hide it very well, but behind closed doors it is something different,” she explained.
“My husband fell from a ladder three years ago and has a brain injury so action mental health, and the team in Drumcoo were fabulous.
“However, there is definitely not enough support for people from all different areas, yet there is so many people that suffer from some form of mental health.
“These services are absolutely vital, it’s the difference between living and survival. The ‘Boost’ programme will provide opportunities for self-discovery, that will help young to regain their confidence, have fun and make new friends.
“The local programme offers support that will enable people to take positive steps towards their future and will provide opportunities to develop life skills so that they can achieve their goals.
“It combines training, personal development and fun activities, to help build resilience and promote positive coping techniques.”
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