IT Sligo hosted Ireland’s first ever ‘ROAR’ on Tuesday afternoon.
The event, held in conjunction with a #BreakTheSilence campaign took place in the canteen where a group of students gathered to shout simultaneously for the cause of raising awareness about mental health.
Leanne McCafferty, a student at IT Sligo and one of the event organisers, explained why the event was held.
“We wanted to create awareness about mental health in the college as well as helping to break the stigma attached to it because we found that students were aware of services for mental health but there was a fear of seeking help because you feel you are going to be judged. Considering the name of our campaign is #BreakTheSilence we decided it would be fitting to have an event called ‘ROAR’ which of course is literally breaking the silence,” she said.
“Due to time constraints for students we held it in the canteen at lunch time because everyone would be here. It was something that worked in two ways, one being that it relieved stress and it is good for their own mental health and secondly it creates awareness throughout the college and there is no fear or shame in being associated with mental health because it something that affects us every day.”
Following Tuesday’s inaugural ‘ROAR’ event, Leanne is confident that it can become a a national, annual staple of mental health campaigns on campuses across the country and a simple means for students to release stress at a hectic time of year.
“The organisation for the prevention of mental health stigma in Ireland have said that they are willing to facilitate the event in other colleges because it so unique and it also fun and in no way time consuming.”