Bunratty Castle is lighting up green from 27th April to 1st May to get people talking about mental health as part of See Change’s 5th national Green Ribbon campaign. See Change is an alliance of groups working together through the National Stigma Reduction Partnership to bring about positive change in public attitudes towards people with mental health problems.

Research released by See Change ahead of this year’s campaign shows that people in Munster are the most likely of all the provinces to conceal a mental health problem. In Munster 46% of people surveyed said they wouldn’t want their family, friends or colleagues to know if they were having mental health difficulties. This is 8% higher than the national average of 38%.

People in Munster are also most likely to delay seeking treatment for a mental health difficulty with 17% of those surveyed saying they would delay help seeking for fear of letting others know. This is 3% higher than the national average at 14%. The research was conducted by Kantar Millward Brown as part of a nationally representative survey of 977 people for the Green Ribbon campaign and was funded by the National Office for Suicide Prevention.

The Green Ribbon campaign aims to change minds about mental health by prompting hundreds of events and thousands of conversations all over Ireland during the month of May each year. The campaign will launch on 27th April 2017 in Dublin’s Mansion House. Between now and the end of May 500,000 ribbons will be distributed to communities, workplaces, schools and colleges all over Ireland to encourage people to talk about mental health.

Speaking about the light up, See Change director John Saunders said, “It’s wonderful to see local initiatives encouraging positive conversations about mental health in their own county. There’s no health without mental health, so it’s very important that we all play our part to end the silence around mental health issues. You don’t need to be an expert to start talking about mental health or have all the answers. Sometimes the most helpful thing you can do is let someone know you are there for them and simply listen.”

The Green Ribbon will be available for free at locations throughout Clare including local libraries.