Thursday, 31 January 2013

Going through a tough time? Help is now online ...

Going through a tough time?   Help is now online with

This new online initiative includes:
Self help articles
Self help articles about stuff like chilling out exam stress, beating the blues, sex & sexuality, procrastination... check it out!

Everything you ever wanted to know about mental health but were
afraid to ask... Send a question or browse questions from other students around the country which have been answered by a professional counsellor.

Online supports
Find links to free online programmes to help with feeling down, eating issues and more.
Download MP3s from our audio library to help you to relax.

Online counselling
You can now connect with your college counselling service online.
A completely confidential, professional service free to students.
The first service of its kind in the country.

Student Mental Health Portal
Supporting Student Wellbeing

Am I ready to date again? What is a prude? Cold sores and oral sex, etc...

Here’s the latest Q & As from Go Ask Alice.  Topics covered below include Am I ready to date again? What is a prude? Cold sores and oral sex, hearing loss, and lots more…  The Go Ask Alice book is available in the Wellness Centre at the back of The Hub - drop in any time for a read.


Remember, If you have problems or worries you feel you would like to talk about confidentially, contact Cindy Dring, Health Promotion Officer for NUI Galway at 091-492048. Alternatively e-mail her at or just drop in to Aras Ni Eimhigh. 

Copyright (C) 2013 Columbia University All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Meet the Volunteers

Meet the Volunteers is a series of interviews with ALIVE and Health Connect volunteers.  For more on the benefits of volunteering see ALIVE! Volunteering and Health Connect Volunteers. We begin with a Jane Kearns’s profile of Hannah Durand an ALIVE volunteer…

Hannah is in final year here in NUI Galway studying English and Psychological Studies. Apart from studying psychology Hannah is preparing for a future in the field by volunteering with Positive Mental Health, an organisation that raises awareness and educates on mental health issues among secondary school students. Hannah found out about Positive Mental Health when she visited the Galway Volunteering Centre who told her about the organisation. She wanted to do something that would be beneficial to those she was working with and useful for her in terms of her studies, so volunteering with Positive Mental Health  seemed like the best option.

Hannah volunteers as part of a team who goes out to secondary schools around the west to promote positive mental health and provide students with a thorough education on mental health awareness. They mainly work with Transition year students and the course they give normally runs over a number of weeks, covering all aspects of mental health from bullying, to feelings and emotions and dealing with grief. Hannah finds the work very rewarding as it helps remove the stigma around mental health among young people and it’s beneficial to the students who get to open up about their emotions in a safe environment.

Starting out in September Hannah was nervous about volunteering, she is the youngest volunteer in the organisation and was intimidated at first, but has since found out that her age has been an advantage.; “The students and I are close in age so they feel more comfortable around me. We share similar perspectives and they are willing to open up more to a younger person.”

Positive Mental Health is a small organisation, and Hannah thinks any other young person who wants to help people in any way should get involved; it’s a great cause that will make a difference in people’s lives. 

Interviewed by Jane Kearns

For more check out:

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Cooking With Kate - free classes

Cooking with Kate
with Kate Wright

Kate is a professional chef and is passionate about food.  Incorporating the principles of healthy eating, the course will teach people how to make nutritious & delicious dishes (mostly vegetarian) at low cost, covering breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, bread and desserts. It will truly expand your knowledge of cookery in a fun and sociable way. 
Booking required
Thursday 6:30—8PM
8 weeks, starting 31st Jan
Venue: John Paul II Common Rm, Chapel

E-mail to book a place.  It’s FREE!
For more see: Mind Body & Soul 

Free Meditation sessions

With Moya Roddy
Moya’s popular  sessions include a variety of simple meditation techniques., such as Chakra balancing with sound and colour and Yoga Nidra. There will also be time for silent meditation.  The group is open to everyone and the aim is to provide a warm and nourishing space where we can take a break from the world.  No need to book  -- drop in any Thursday!
Thursday 1—2PM
Starting 10th Jan
Venue: Art Gallery, Quadrangle

For more see: Mind Body & Soul 

Free Workshops on Getting Things Done

Getting Things Done
with Richard Abrahams

Do you find that:  You are always the last to hand in your essays? Time is never on your side? You are stressed out because you need to study and you are still working on your essays? You feel like giving up completely?
We can change all that. All it takes is one hour per week and your commitment.
Richard is a qualified Senior Life Coach and has many years of experience in motivating students towards achieving their goals.  You can do it, too, with a little help.  Booking required.
Wednesday 1-2PM
6 weeks, starting 30th Jan.
Venue: Wellness Centre, the Hub, Áras na Mac Léinn

E-mail to book a place.  It’s FREE!
For more see: Mind Body & Soul 

Free Workshops on Moving Mindfully

Moving Mindfully
with Marese Cregg

Bring your mind and body into balance by practicing gentle yoga postures with controlled breathing and meditation. Develop a mind-body-spirit centred practice by breathing mindfully during slow movements and experience your body as a vehicle for self-discovery through observation and attention. Learn to develop and to tune into your internal awareness. Wear loose comfortable clothing.
Booking required -  Maximum 15 people
Wednesday 4:30 – 6PM
8 weeks starting 30th Jan
Venue: the View, Áras na Mac  Léinn

E-mail to book a place.  It’s FREE!
For more see: Mind Body & Soul 

Free Laughter Yoga workshops

 Laughter Yoga
with Siobhán Kavanagh

Laughter Yoga is an aerobic exercise which involves yogic breathing exercises, games, movement, laughter exercises and guided meditation. It has been found to reduce stress levels, increase mood and is thought to increase productivity. Laughter Yoga reminds us that anyone can laugh for no reason, without relying on external stimulus or even a sense of humour.  If a session of fun and laughter is something you would like to try, this workshop is for you!  Booking required
Thursday 8-10PM
7 weeks starting 31st Jan
Venue  ‘the Cube’, Áras na Mac Léinn

E-mail to book a place.  It’s FREE!
For more see: Mind Body & Soul 

Free Assertiveness Course

Assertiveness Course
with Breda Moore

Would you like to be able to: Deal with people and situations with confidence? Resist manipulation and cope with criticism? Be able to negotiate and reach workable compromises? How you interact with others can be a source of considerable stress in your life. Assertiveness training can reduce that stress by teaching you to stand up for your legitimate rights, without bullying others or letting them bully you. Participants will receive a certificate – something good to include in the CV!  Booking required.
Wednesday 6-8PM 6 weeks, starting 30th Jan
Venue: CA005

E-mail to book a place.  It’s FREE!
For more see: Mind Body & Soul 

Free Massage Workshops

Massage Workshops
with Ashling Battersby

We believe that basic massage is an important life skill. It can be therapeutic and relaxing as well as stimulating and rejuvenating. Back by popular demand, this 3 week course will teach you the basic techniques, and then you can try them out on those special people in your life. The course is for complete beginners as well as more experienced participants. These are practical workshops and you will work in pairs, under Ashling’s guidance.  Don’t forget your towel.    Booking required.
Monday  6-8PM 
3 weeks, starting 28th Jan
Venue: AC215

E-mail to book a place.  It’s FREE!
For more see: Mind Body & Soul 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

An erotic (if cautionary) winter's tale...

I have indeed leapt naked through ice to swim in a highland river. It was a long long fado fado ago. I was travelling through the Scottish highlands when I came across a local lass. The morning we met the world was crisp and frosty. I was wrapped up in all manners of proper winter gear that my mammy had insisted on buying me. So whilst my face was cold, I was toasty warm. By contrast my new companion seemed indifferent to the weather, being only dressed in a long skirt and top. She was fair of cheek, shapely of form and had a really dirty laugh. I looked like a padded sofa.

Everything was magical, including the fact that I was managing to have a reasonably coherent conversation with a girl. As we chatted she told me that the locals had a tradition that would not only put me in touch with nature and the shock and wonder of being alive but would also be great for my skin complexion. I was skeptical but asked her what the tradition was. ‘Oh you just have to strip naked and jumped into a river on the coldest day of the year. I’m on my way there now. Do you want to join me?’

My brain froze, my tongue stuck to the top of my mouth, but somehow I managed to nod my head, vigorously.  At last I was going to see a real live naked girl. We walked along a narrow path through a dark Scottish wood. She chatted earnestly about all manner of things, but I have to admit I did not take note of anything she said. My brain had pretty much abdicated all functions to my penis.

After walking a while I saw a thick bank of fog ahead. ‘That’s where the river is,’ she said before running on. I followed her, fearful and excited.  I caught up with her just as she was taking off her flip-flops. Before us was an expanse of ice, beneath which black shadows moved. ‘It’s the river,’ she said. ‘The ice will soon be too thick to break. We need to strip as quickly as we can.’ At which she lifted her jumper and touched a finger to her lovely pale stomach.

Using sudden supersonic penis power magic I was instantly naked. Without a moment’s hesitation I leapt through ice. It was incredible. My body screamed in pain as it fell through the icy water. My blood stopped, my eyes popped, the blackness crushed every bone and muscle in me. Then I rose up gasping and feeling the most astonishing sense of godlike power and wonder. 
I heard a dirty giggle and turned around. It was then that I discovered that my highland lass had not befriended me in order to discuss philosophy, nature or skin tone. Oh no - her thoughts were of a more base and earthy nature. I discovered then that she only wanted me for one thing; my long johns, wooly jumper and big snuggly parker. Fully dressed in my winter survival gear she blew me a kiss and ran off back through the woods.  I never saw her again. 

But, from emotional turmoil comes wisdom, and in the years since that day I have realized a number of things which may be of use to the men and women of Ireland today:
·        Women. There is no need to drag a man through a wood in order to get an extra jumper. Just ask. Lads are always delighted to help…
·        Men. You may indeed catch a glimpse of a female friend touching her belly. This is not a mating signal. She may just have an itch. You might think she is looking for an erotic encounter but she may only need a bar of soap…
As for dealing with freezing days, the best advice is dress well, get out and get active  Being active is one of four recommendations from the Mayo Clinic for chasing away the winter blues

 As for navigating the complex world of relationships, check out: