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Dublin's McMahon and Carthy tell young men: 'Look After Yourself'

The Irish Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists, along with brand ambassadors Philly McMahon and Shane Carthy, unveiled a Joe Caslin mural on Montague Lane, Dublin. For more details visit iacp.ie

DUBLIN players present and past, Philly McMahon and Shane Carthy are encouraging young men to attend counselling/psychotherapy in order to 'Look After Yourself'.

An advocate of good mental health and founder of the charity Half Time Talk, McMahon said: "Your mental game is just as important as your physical game and 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 Shane Carthy, who has spoken about his own struggles with depression, said: "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."

A recent survey carried out by the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) revealed that only three in 10 Irish men said they would attend counselling/psychotherapy. Forty per cent of women said they would be 'very likely' to attend if struggling in some way with their mental health.

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 has unveiled a mural by Joe Caslin on Montague Lane, Dublin in a bid to encourage males aged 25-34 to normalise therapy among this demographic and encourage young males to seek out help and talk with therapists.

Well-known Irish illustrator and street artist Caslin said: "The figures that populate my murals are ordinary people, that in turn become spokespeople for their own experiences.

"The 'Look After Yourself' campaign is all about ordinary young males and encouraging them to be vulnerable and speak to a therapist. It isn't something they should be ashamed of or see it as a sign of weakness; it's actually a sign of huge strength."

The IACP has welcomed McMahon and Carthy as brand ambassadors to push this messaging among this demographic and show them that being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness.

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 IACP represents over 4,500 accredited and CPD certified counsellors and psychotherapists in Ireland, with a nation-wide directory of therapists at iacp.ie

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