Tommy Bowe will be discussing the impact his rugby career has had on his mental wellbeing as part of a proactive campaign. It comes as research has revealed that 53% of Irish adults have gone through a life changing event and not discussed it with anyone.

The Irish Rugby Union Players’ Association (IRUPA) in partnership with Zurich will host a free mental wellbeing panel discussion as part of its Tackle Your Feelings campaign at the Kingspan Stadium on Tuesday October 4 from 6.15pm to 8.30pm.

As part of the Tackle Your Feelings campaign Ireland and Leinster front-row Jack McGrath, came forward earlier this year to speak about how he coped with the death of his brother by suicide in 2010, alongside Irish women’s player, Hannah Tyrrell, who talked about how she overcame her struggles with self-harm and bulimia.

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Launch of IRUPA's Tackle Your Feelings Mental Wellbeing Campaign, St. Mary's College C.S.Sp, Rathmines, Dublin 21/3/2016 The Irish Rugby Union Players' Association (IRUPA) in partnership with Zurich today launched Tackle Your Feelings, a new mental wellbeing campaign that will see national and international rugby stars come forward to tell their own personal story of the issues they have faced off the pitch. The first players to tell their personal stories are Ireland and Leinster front-row Jack McGrath who speaks emotively about how he coped with the death of his brother by suicide in 2010 and Irish women's player, Hannah Tyrrell, who talks about how she overcame her struggles with self-harm and bulimia. Their videos are hosted on the new website www.tackleyourfeelings.com Hannah Tyrrell pictured at St. Mary's College C.S.Sp, Rathmines, Dublin 6 For more information visit : www.tackleyourfeelings.com Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Hannah Tyrrell will talk about how she overcame her struggles with self-harm and bulimia. ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

The panel at Kingspan Stadium will feature Lions, Ireland and Ulster star Tommy Bowe, who will share his own personal story about the impact of dealing with setbacks and coming back from injury on his mental wellbeing.

Tommy will be joined on the panel by Ireland women’s player Hannah Tyrrell who is a Tackle Your Feelings Ambassador and Omar Hassanein, CEO of IRUPA as well as MC for the evening Claire McCollum.  Dr Eddie Murphy, Clinical Psychologist and Tackle Your Feelings advisor will add to the discussion by providing practical advice as to how attendees can proactively manage their mental wellbeing.

Tackle Your Feelings is a mental wellbeing campaign, developed and delivered by IRUPA, which sees provincial and international rugby stars come forward to tell their own personal story of the issues they have faced off the pitch.  The event is free to attend and to secure a place simply register on eventbrite.ie

The discussion will explore the importance of taking care of your mental wellbeing and explain how we all need to be more proactive in resolving emotional challenges before they escalate into a crisis. The discussion is another step towards achieving the vision of a society that embraces emotional vulnerability. Tackle Your Feelings seeks to emphasise the importance of preventative measures in maintaining good mental wellbeing.

Speaking about the event Tommy Bowe said: “This campaign has touched so many people since it was launched earlier this year and I am really pleased that IRUPA have committed to helping the rugby community and beyond come together and learn how to tackle their own feelings.

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Kingspan Ulster Rugby Media Event, Dublin 9/12/2015 Tommy Bowe, Rob Herring and Craig Gilroy were speaking at a Kingspan hosted media event in Dublin to preview UlsterÕs ERCC match against Toulouse on Friday night in Kingspan Stadium. Fans can stay up to date with the latest Kingspan competitions and promotions by following @KingspanStadium on Twitter.

Tommy Bowe hopes that the stories of professional rugby players can help anyone going through a tricky time.

“I hope that in hearing stories from professional rugby players that anyone who is going through a tricky time can recognise that there are practical ways to resolve these feelings, whether by opening up and talking to someone they trust or just consciously using the strategies that work for them”

Research conducted by IRUPA demonstrated that over half (53%) of Irish adults have gone through a challenging life event but did not discuss their feelings with anyone. Additionally, 71% feel that they would be treated differently if they had a mental health issue and other people knew about it.

Meanwhile, the 2013/14 Health Survey Northern Ireland showed that 1 in 5 people in Northern Ireland (19%) are experiencing a mental health problem at any one time. Of these respondents who were experiencing difficulties, 45% of females and 29% of males were taking medication for stress/anxiety or depression.

Omar Hassanein, CEO, IRUPA, said: “We are delighted to be hosting this panel discussion in Ulster which will take place in Kingspan Stadium in Belfast.  The Tackle Your Feelings campaign is a really important element of the work that we are doing to help people improve their mental wellbeing and highlights some of the struggles that our rugby players experience as part of their everyday lives.”

Elaine Hayes, ‎Corporate Responsibility spokesperson at Zurich, commented: “As an issue that affects such a large proportion of Irish people, mental health is something that needs to be discussed more openly and honestly; be it on the pitch, in the office, or in general day-to-day life. We hope the people of Ulster will come and join us for an evening that is sure to inspire a conversation amongst both rugby supporters and non-rugby supporters alike and keep mental wellbeing top of mind.”

Visit tackleyourfeelings.com to find out more.

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