GAA stars Philly McMahon and Shane Carthy are backing a new campaign urging young Irish men to look after their mental health.
The Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) launched the initiative as research revealed that just three in 10 Irish men say they would attend counselling.
IACP is asking the young men of Ireland to “Look After Yourself” – unveiling a Joe Caslin mural on Montague Lane on Tuesday to encourage men aged 25-34 to seek help and normalise therapy.
Ballymun native Philly, founder of the charity Half Time Talk, said: “Your mental game is just as important as your physical game.
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“The younger generation need to learn this from an early age, that looking after your mental health is key to your overall health. There is no failure in going to see a therapist.”
Fellow ambassador and former Dubs player Shane Carthy added: “We need to take the stigma from attending therapy. I myself have attended therapy and found it hugely beneficial.
“I would recommend all young men who feel like they need to get something off their chest to have a chat with a therapist and look after yourself.”
The IACP encourages young males to see therapy as normal and not something that “has to be done” but rather something you do for yourself.
The shock finding that less than one third of men would seek help compares to 40 per cent of women who say they would be “very likely” to seek counselling if they were struggling.
The survey also found that men are less likely than women to have personally attended a counsellor/psychotherapist – one in nine men have attended compared with one in seven women.
Lisa Molloy, CEO of the IACP, said: “These figures show that young men need to be encouraged to look after their mental health. Our hope with this campaign is that it will motivate them to start talking and asking for help.
“We want to show them that attending therapy is normal and a safe space for them to be themselves”.
The IACP handed out hundreds of free signed Joe Caslin prints at Tuesday’s launch.