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Editor's Viewpoint

Al's efforts highlighting isssues of mental health

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Help: surfer Al Mennie has been swimming at night for charity

Help: surfer Al Mennie has been swimming at night for charity

Help: surfer Al Mennie has been swimming at night for charity

In October the World Health Organisation said there was mounting evidence that the Covid pandemic was having a monumental effect on the mental health and wellbeing of populations worldwide and it was unclear how the world would react to this looming crisis given its low capacity to respond.

Mental health has long been one of the Cinderella health sectors in Northern Ireland and, while there had been additional funding pre-Covid, charities still were important contributors in charting the extent of problems and raising money to deal with them.

However those charities, like many others, have seen contributions decimated in the last year.

The efforts of the province's renowned surfer Al Mennie to shine a light on mental health issues by swimming an astonishing 100 kilometres in the sea in the dark is a novel attempt to both raise money and, even more importantly, demonstrate how getting outdoors and exercising can have health benefits.

But with the screw tightening on lockdown, Al's great work may be hampered.

Belfast Telegraph


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