News & Events

Ennis ‘Woodlands for Health’ Project

Woodlands for Health is a nature-based intervention programme focused on green exercise in a forest setting. The voluntary programme has been developed specifically for those with mental health difficulties, and it is supported by medical professionals complementing a positive mental health approach which is central to the role of Mental Health Ireland. In 2012 the first Wicklow programme was initiated by Charlie Burke of Coillte in partnership with the HSE, Mental Health Ireland, Wicklow Mental Health Association and Wicklow Sports Partnership, with over a dozen counties now taking part.

We were delighted to roll out the Ennis Woodlands for Health Project in May, June, and July 2022, in partnership with Clare Sports Partnership, Mid-West Mental Health Occupational Therapists and Mental Health Ireland.

Our walks took place at the fabulous Lees Road Woodland Trails in Ennis, with some gentle mindfulness in the heart of the forest, mid-way through our walks enhancing the overall experience. After our walks, we sat together and chatted as a group with some light and healthy refreshments.

We took a trip to Kilrush Forest for our final walk, and we rounded off the Project with a tour of the beautiful Vandeleur Gardens, followed by a delicious lunch, when certificates were presented to all our lovely participants.

You can learn more about Woodlands for Health here:

Friendship Seating Area

On 7th April 2022, Ennis Mental Health Association in cooperation with Ennis Municipal Council launched the town’s first Friendship Seating Area.  Located by the Fergus in the Abbey Street Car park, the Friendship Seating Area is designed to provide an attractive and inviting space where people can sit and be open to engaging in conversation with whoever joins them. The Area has been specifically designed to provide everyone, including those of limited mobility, with a convenient and comfortable place to meet, to rest and to connect with others.

Friendship Seating Area

Maria Molloy, Chair of Ennis Mental Health Association, speaking at the official launch on the 7th of April, welcomed people to the new Friendship Seating Area and said how she hoped it would become a hub of conversation and friendship, and even become a regular meeting place for the people of the town.  Referring to the quotation from Yeats on the granite carving at the centre of the new Friendship Area, ‘There are no strangers here, only friends we haven’t yet met’, Ms. Molloy commented on her vision that this new social space will in some small way assist those who may feel lonely or isolated, and thereby create a sense of belonging and improve quality of life. 

Ms. Molloy also hoped that the location of this new Friendship Area by the Fergus would improve interaction with nature, wildlife, and the outdoors, all of which are proven to help improve people’s physical health, self-esteem, and life satisfaction.  Ms Molloy concluded by acknowledging the assistance of Ennis Municipal Council for their untiring work in bringing the project to completion. 

Speaking at the official launch of the new Friendship Seating Area Cllr. Paul Murphy, Deputy Mayor of Ennis congratulated EMHA on this exciting new development for the town. Referring to mental health as a major concern for our communities, he encouraged everyone, young and old, to use this newly created social space to reach out in friendship and conversation and support to others who may use the new facility. Counsellor Murphy also called on the public to support the work of EMHA and especially commended the organisation for creating this very inclusive social space which he hoped would help to grow and strengthen people’s social networks and improve mental and physical well-being.

Pictured below are just some of the very many great supporters and friends to Ennis Mental Health Association through the years, who we were delighted to have join us to celebrate the launch.

Our sincere thanks to the team at CSGL Electrical for their generous donation in December 2021 which went towards the cost of the Friendship Seating Area, and to the team at Ennis Municipal District for their unwavering support in getting this project off the ground.

Hello, How Are You?

The inaugural National ‘Hello, How Are You?’ Day took place on April 7th 2022.

Hello, How Are You?’ is a new mental health promotion campaign developed and managed by Mental Health Ireland, and Ennis Mental Health Association was very proud to be a part of the inaugural National ‘Hello, How Are You?’ Co-production Group.

We asked workplaces and organisations around the county to get involved; run a Workplace Wellbeing Day, Event or Talk, host a coffee morning, create an information stand on wellbeing in your canteen…the possibilities were endless! To learn more about how you can get involved, visit

Ennis Mental Health Association held an information stand at The Height, right in the heart of Ennis on Thursday 7 April from 2pm, together with Clare FM. We were so happy to see so many folks come along and say, ‘Hello Clare, How Are You?’

Guided Meditation

We are so pleased to bring you this On-Line Guided Meditation session with Rosie McMahon at 8pm on Thursday 24th March 2022.

Rosie, also known to her many Instagram followers as The Holistic Health Coach, has kindly and generously offered her services to Ennis Mental Health Association for this session free of charge.

To reserve your space at this FREE session, which will be delivered via Zoom, please simply:
📧 email:
☎️ call / text / WhatsApp: 085 252 4608

Mental Health Week 2021

Join us during Mental Health Week 2021, for a varied programme of events around the town of Ennis, where we aim to promote and educate on positive mental health and wellness.

In bringing you this year’s programme, we are truly delighted to work with such renowned experts in their respective fields: Maria Wood – Sing to Connect; Clare Sports Partnership; Grainne Travers Nutrition and Dr Tony Bates.

ALL events this year are FREE, but don’t worry if you are unable to attend in-person, as all of our indoor events will also be streamed live this year on our Facebook page!

To book a place:
☎️ call / text: 085 252 4608
📧 email:

  • Please note that booking is necessary for all INDOOR events, and that capacity is limited this year due to Public Health Measures currently in place. If you are unable to attend in-person, all indoor events will be streamed live this year on our Facebook page.
  • Please also note that in line with Public Health Measures currently in place, and in order to maximise the reduced capacity available to us, it is necessary for attendance at our INDOOR events to be restricted to fully vaccinated persons only, and proof of vaccination must be provided. Again, if you are unable to attend in-person, all indoor events will be streamed live this year on our Facebook page.

Why Talking Helps, with Dr Tony Bates

We are so delighted to bring you an evening of conversation with the renowned Dr Tony Bates, on the theme of Why Talking Helps.

” These days we hear every day that we should talk about our troubles, but how does talking help? It doesn’t make our problems go away. Sometimes talking can make us very upset. And yet talking is what we human beings have been doing since time began to help us manage our lives. “

Dr Tony Bates is a Clinical Psychologist, who was Head of Psychology for 30 years in St James’s Hospital Dublin, and who established and directed  the MSc Cognitive Psychotherapy in TCD until 2006. He founded Jigsaw (The National Centre for Youth Mental Health) in 2006 to serve young people and their mental health needs.

In this presentation, Dr Bates will look at why talking helps, what difference it makes, what helps us open up and share our pain, and what makes it so hard to talk at times.

This not-to-be-missed talk will take place via Zoom on Thursday 13th May, 2021 at 8pm. To reserve your space at this FREE talk, please:
📧 email:
☎️ call / text: 085 252 4608

Five Ways to Wellbeing during Tough Times

Living through tough times can be both mentally and physically draining, and so we are delighted to bring you Mental Health Ireland‘s Five Ways to Wellbeing during Tough Times.

The Five Ways to Wellbeing is used all over the world to help people take positive action to improve their wellbeing. These are simple and practical steps that we can take every day to boost our mood and outlook – particularly important during these Covid-19 times.

Join us, from the comfort of your own home, on Monday 19th April at 8pm, when Mental Health Ireland Local Development Officer, Claire Flynn, will give an introduction to the concepts of mental health and wellbeing, and give you a greater understanding of the Five Ways to Wellbeing, and how you can incorporate them into your everyday life.

To reserve your space at this FREE Webinar:
📧 email:
☎️ call / text: 085 252 4608

My Mental Health Journey – from Setbacks to Success

Following on from his powerful blog post, Ennis Mental Health Association is very pleased to bring you this *FREE* Zoom talk by Cillian Keane as part of our Spring programme of events.

This talk will take place via Zoom on Thursday 8th April, 2021 at 8pm.

To reserve your space at this FREE talk, please simply:
📧 email:
☎️ call / text: 085 252 4608

Nutrition & Mental Health

To reserve your space at this *FREE* Grainne Travers talk on Thursday 25th March, 2021 at 8pm, simply:
📧 email:
☎️ call / text: 085 252 4608

Please note that this talk will be delivered via Zoom

When Anxiety Becomes Problematic

As part of our Spring programme of events, Ennis Mental Health Association is very pleased to bring you this *FREE* Zoom talk by Bernard McNamee.

Bernard is a HSE Clinical Nurse Specialist, with an interest in anxiety, and in this talk will give an overview of anxiety, and when normal anxieties become problematic.

This talk will take place via Zoom on Tuesday 16th March 2021, at 8pm.

Please note that active participation in this event is not necessary. You can simply sit and listen if you would prefer.

To reserve your space at this *FREE* talk, simply:
📧 email:
☎️ call / text: 085 252 4608

Please note that this talk will be delivered via Zoom

Mindfulness at Christmas

Join us, from the comfort of your own home, on Monday 7th December 2020 and Monday 14th December 2020 at 8pm, as Ennis Mental Health Association hosts *FREE* ‘Mindfulness at Christmas’ session with Mary G Scanlon.

Please note that these sessions will be delivered via Zoom. For further information or to reserve your space, please:

📧 email:
☎️ call / text: 085 252 4608

Tom McGrath Youth Mental Health
Art & Photography Competition

In November 2019, Ennis Mental Health Association was proud to collaborate with Clare Youth Service in sponsoring the Tom McGrath Youth Mental Health Art & Photography Competition.

The theme of the competition was Youth Mental Health Awareness During the Mid-Winter, incorporating all celebrations during that period (Christmas, Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Three Kings Day, St. Nicholas Day, Kwanzaa, New Year, Mardi Gras etc). Under this overarching theme there were two sub-themes; being S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) aware, and also highlighting that seasons of celebration during mid-winter are not always happy occasions for some young people.

Encouraging the knowledge and instilling the techniques of how to look after yourself if experiencing S.A.D., together with Clare Youth Service “5 A Day For Your Mental Health” was key to the competition.

Unfortunately, due to COVID19 restrictions, it was necessary to postpone the awards ceremony. We were delighted therefore to finally have the opportunity to present the awards at CYS on 1st October 2020 – albeit at a smaller, socially distanced ceremony!

It seemed quite timely that this took place in the lead up to World Mental Health Day 2020, and particularly so given the current challenges and turbulent times that our young people are experiencing.

Social Media, Young People & Mental Health

Ennis Mental Health Association is pleased to host this presentation by forensic psychologist, Dr Maureen Griffin, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., that will focus on the positive and negative impacts of social media on the mental health of young people. It will outline what our children can be exposed to on their devices, from news content to age-appropriate images and negative influence on apps such as YouTube (even YouTube Kids) and Instagram. Topics addressed will include screen time, sleep and effects on mental health and well-being, accessing age-inappropriate content such as pornography, online ‘Influencers’ and effects on self-esteem, cyber bulling, social media as a tool for help-seeking, and how to improve our children’s well-being and reduce risk online.

Tickets for this event at The Temple Gate Hotel at 8pm on Thursday 23 April 2020, are priced at €5 per person, and are available to purchase from our ticket office located at The Sonas Centre, Chapel Lane, Ennis, Co Clare, V95 EF88, on the following dates and times:
– Tuesday 7 April 2020 from 12pm to 2pm
– Tuesday 14 April 2020 from 12pm to 2pm
– Tuesday 21 April 2020 from 12pm to 2pm
A limited quantity of tickets will also be available to purchase at the door on the night on a first come, first served basis. Doors will open at 7pm.

Singing for Wellness
The Sonas Singers – Singing for Wellness!

Ennis Mental Health Association’s ‘Wellness Choir’ piloted from April 2019 to June 2019.

The primary aims of ‘Singing for Wellness’ were to develop a model for singing which was less about performance and more about community connection, and to demystify singing so that it is seen as something for everyone.

Feedback from the participants was so overwhelmingly positive, that it was decided to make the choir a permanent fixture in the Ennis Mental Health Association programme of events, and in September 2019 it was launched under the new name, The Sonas Singers.

This fully inclusive group meets every Tuesday evening at The Sonas Centre, and such is the success of the choir that numbers of attendees have grown week on week, and continue to do so!


Mental Health Week 2019

Emotional Resilience

Ennis Mental Health Association is pleased to welcome to Ennis bestselling author and GP, Dr Harry Barry.

Dr Barry has a long-standing interest in mental health and the role of neuroscience in the causation and treatment of mental health conditions like Depression, Anxiety, Panic and Phobias.

Dr Barry will speak on how you can unlock your inner emotional resilience reserves, deal with the challenges of life, and protect your mental health.

Venue: Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis
Date: Wednesday 10th April 2019
Time: 8pm

Tickets priced at €5.00, will be available to purchase at the door on the night, on a strictly ‘first come, first served’ basis.

Please note that capacity for Dr Barry’s talk is strictly limited to 190.

Mental Health Week 2018

Solstice Wellbeing Day

Mind Your Mental Health

Piece of Mind Launch

Following a steady flow of requests from the public, Ennis Mental Health Association, with support from Mental Health Associations in Shannon as well as North and West Clare, developed Piece of Mind. The booklet is designed to offer encouragement and hope to the young people of Clare, and to act as a valuable resource for them and their friends and families. Information can be an important step towards recovery, regaining confidence and wellbeing. It is important to share concerns with friends or family and to access support which will help to relieve stress.

The launch of the Piece of Mind booklet took place at the Temple Gate Hotel in Ennis in November 2017.

Speaking at the launch were guests of honour John Burke and Podge Collins from the Elevate Foundation, Rebecca Ryan, author of ‘Dictatorship – My Teenage War With OCD’, Martin Rogan, CEO of Mental Health Ireland, and Tom McNamara, Mayor of Clare.

John spoke about the impact of social media abuse on the wellbeing of young people. Podge recalled his own experiences with his friends as a young man in college, and reiterated the need for young people to talk to someone about the challenges of life that they face. ‘It would have been useful if I had this booklet at the time’ he commented.

Rebecca spoke of how 2013 was a blank for her, but that her condition is now under control due to the assistance she received from her school and the professionals in the field. Her advice was that ‘we should all be striving to be kind to each other’. And that we should live ‘without worry or stigma or prejudice’.

Martin encouraged everyone to keep the booklet available as a family resource for when help is needed. ‘Piece of Mind is for the young and not so young’, he commented. He noted particularly the myriad of organisations available within Co Clare and encouraged young people in need of support to use them to the fullest extent.

Mayor Tom McNamara emphasised positive mental health, the need to watch for the trigger point and the need to seek help in time.

Mental Health & Wellbeing Workshop

Tom McGrath Youth Mental Health
Essay Competition

The aim of the 2016 Tom McGrath Youth Mental Health Essay Competition was the promotion of positive mental health through the power of words.
Students were asked to write from four different topics, each centred around the issue of mental health:-
– Everyone and everything around us is our teacher
– Happiness is the product of the choices we make
– What can we do as teenagers to support each other in terms of our mental health?
– You can’t stop the waves, but you can surf them

Talented second-year students from St Flannan’s College, Rice College and Gaelcholáiste an Chláir were presented with their awards in October 2016 by Theresa McGrath.

Flagging Anxiety & Panic:
How to Reshape Your Anxious Mind & Brain

Dayananda Brahmachari Workshop

Christmas Drop-In Cafe

Yoga with Rosie

Minding our mental health during COVID-19

Registered Charity Number 20204828 / CHY 22724

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