New free Life Skills programme helps with life’s ups and downs

By Mary Dennehy

AWARE is this September starting two free positive mental health programmes in the Maldron Hotel, Tallaght.

Ireland’s national charity supporting people affected by depression, bipolar disorder and mood-related conditions, Aware, is running a four-week Relative and Friends and a six-week Life Skills programme in Tallaght.

Aware Tallaght aerial view

The mental health programmes will be held in Tallaght

The four-week Friends and Relatives Programme, which is for those supporting a loved one experiencing depression or bipolar disorder, starts on Tuesday, September 3.

The six-week Life Skills Programme starts in the Maldron Hotel, Tallaght on Tuesday, September 10 and is open to anyone wishing to learn new ways of dealing with life’s ups and downs.

 According to Brid O’Meara, Aware’s Director of Services, the new programmes are designed to help people better cope with the challenges in their lives.

“The Life Skills Programme is designed to give people insights into how we think and how this can influence our actions in both helpful and unhelpful ways.

“Based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy, each session is guided by our trained facilitator to help people better manage stresses of everyday life, learning to spot unhelpful thoughts and discovering new and healthier ways of thinking.

“It is important to emphasise that confidentiality is the bedrock of the programme and nobody is asked to share personal information or experiences.

“The results speak for themselves ,with evaluations showing participants experiencing reduced levels of anxiety and improved mood on completion of the programme.”

Ms O’Meara added that the Relatives and Friends Programme provides participants with the “emotional and practical skills they need themselves, while supporting a loved one who is experiencing depression or bipolar disorder”.

This programme offers coping tools to help people deal with their circumstances as well as helping to improve communication skills in their relationships.

“It also offers advice on self-care – every person goes away with their own personal action plan to better address challenges at home, which benefits both themselves and their loved one.

“People attending this programme really gain from meeting others in similar circumstances to themselves and in sharing that sense of mutual understanding and support.”

The programmes are open to people aged 18 years.

A place can be secured with a booking deposit of €30 (€10 for students and those who are unemployed, over 65 or hold a medical card) – the booking deposit is refundable at the end of the programme.

For further details on the programmes or to book your place visit

Anybody worried about depression or bipolar can call the Aware Support Line on Freephone 1800 80 48 48 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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