Congratulations to Catherine Dunne, winner of the See Change Ideas Competition. Use the Plot, Catherine’s winning idea, will use unfinished and idle land to create gardens where people can come together to grow produce. Use the Plot will complement other activities such as education and information campaigns aimed at reducing stigma and discrimination.
Use the Plot was selected as the winning entry because of its potential to bring together people with and without experience of mental health problems to engage in a positive and enjoyable activity. Outdoor exercise like gardening has been shown to improve mental and physical wellbeing, while strengthening social networks. Research has shown that having an opportunity to get to know someone with a mental health problem challenges personally held negative beliefs and reduces stigma. This kind of contact has been shown to be particularly effective when people are coming to together in pursuit of a mutual goal. Use the Plot will provide an opportunity for this kind of social contact to take place in communities around Ireland.
Congratulations also to Colin Cullen whose slogan ‘Embrace Me, Embrace Mental Health’ was highly commended by the judging panel.