Leitrim Guardian Person of the Year, Hubert McHugh, Nathan Carter and Valerie Cogan.
Leitrim Guardian Person the Year, Hubert McHugh and Valerie Cogan, the people behind the Leitrim's Health is Wealth seminar, are hoping that people leave tonight's event with a very important message - "put down the phone for a while and just talk to each other."
The seminar, which is highlighting the importance of looking after your mental and physical health and wellbeing, has attracted over 350 people to The Bush Hotel.
Asked just what had led them to organise this event, Hubert McHugh said that he had wanted to "do some small thing to make a little mark" in his time as Leitrim Guardian Person of the Year.
"I was having a chat with Valerie (his work colleague) and she said what about doing a seminar to promote the themes of communication and volunteering and that's where this was born."
Hubert says that you cannot underestimate the importance of talking, talking to friends, to family, to work colleagues and neighbours.
But in particular you cannot underestimate "the face to face chat".
Valerie agrees noting "there is less and less face to face conversation these days. It is all facebook, snapchat etc....we want people to put down their phone for a while and just talk to each other."
She also stresses that, if you are talking to someone and they say they aren't, mentally, feeling ok - "Don't be afraid to have that conversation with them."
Hubert also encouraged people to get engaged within their community and especially encouraged young people to visit their elderly neighbours.
"We have an ageing population here in Leitrim and sometimes they are very lonely. I would encourage our young people to visit their neighbours and do a little message for them or just talk to them."
So let's get out there and reconnect with people in our families and our communities, together we can tackle the stigma surrounding mental illness and together we can make a difference. Get out, visit others and just talk face to face!
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