Driving away depression - The AWARE fleet gets a brand new car
We are delighted to announce the launch of a brand new AWARE car!
The charity’s branded Renault Clio will now be joined by an AWARE Audi and will be driven around by AWARE volunteers to get Northern Irish people talking about mental health and depression and to encourage them to reach out for help if they need it. Jarlath McCreanor, AWARE volunteer said “The purpose of the AWARE cars is to end the stigma around depression: an illness previously spoken about in whispers. These yellow cars turn heads and spark conversations for all the right reasons. We hope they will encourage people to open up about their mental health.”
Jarlath has been volunteering for AWARE for nearly 20 years. Having attended AWARE support groups to look after his own mental health, he now facilitates three groups for people suffering from depression and bipolar disorder. He said “I have personally experienced the benefits of the AWARE support groups and I’ve seen how important they are to the attendees. I have witnessed how going to the groups can change people’s lives. Many people slip through the mental health system and sometimes feel that their lives are over. AWARE support groups provide a safe environment to be around like-minded people who share similar experiences. This means attendees can feel comfortable enough to open up and to share feelings that they may not be able to share with family and friends.”
Jarlath will be driving the AWARE branded Audi around Northern Ireland in the coming weeks and months to promote the charity’s messaging around mental health and depression. The branding was possible thanks largely to a donation from Brian Larkin Safety in Crossgar. Speaking on the importance of mental health awareness, Brian Larkin said, “Mental health and wellbeing awareness is crucial and more information is sought daily for knowledge and support. We understand this is the case, now more than ever. We recognise the position AWARE has in society and the workplace and we aim to continue to be involved in a strong, effective working relationship.”
To celebrate the launch of the new car, we are launching a monthly photo competition and inviting our followers to Spot the #AWAREcar. If you spot the car, simply take a photo and tag AWARE on social media using the hashtag #AWAREcar OR send your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. AWARE’s team of volunteers will choose their favourite pictures and there are Amazon vouchers on offer for the winners!