Cappucino was ‘king’ at ‘Melting Pot’ opening!

A cup of frothy cappucino was the order of the day on Thursday night last as the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív was in Roscommon to perform the official launch of the Melting Pot internet café. The Minister, a renowned tea drinker, opted instead for the famed Melting Pot cappuccino on Thursday last as he performed the launch. The café is a collaboration between a number of groups in the area of mental health, including the HSE, service users at Clorina House in Roscommon, Roscommon Partnership and Roscommon Mental Health Association. Guests were welcomed to the event by the MC for the evening, Brendan Donoghue of RosFM, who commended Deputy Michael Finneran for securing the services of the Minister. The first speaker of the evening was the Manager of the Melting Pot, Adrian Brend. He said that the aim is to provide, on community development principles, a place for people to meet and chat. A range of services are also offered, such as peer support groups and a parent and toddler group. It is also used by the ISPCA and a Lesbian and Gay support group for meetings. Up and coming young bands also showcase their talents at this venue. Service users from Clorina House spoke, as did Brazilian woman Katya de Nova, who discussed the information service available for foreign nationals. Patricia Murphy Byrne, CEO of Roscommon Partnership, spoke about the Peer Support Project. She said that Roscommon Partnership aims to create a positive mental health society in Co. Roscommon. To fulfil the aim, they held a suicide conference in conjunction with Roscommon Mental Health Association and ran it for two years, with over 600 people attending. Feedback was positive and those present pointed to the need for greater engagement and also a huge need for counselling for young people.  Research was conducted and it was decided to identify the categories most at risk. These were young people, isolated rural men and elderly people living on their own. It was also decided to establish a support service for people with mental health issues. A meeting was convened by Roscommon Partnership and a range of group came on board. Out of this a peer support group and a family support group were formed and there are plans for a telephone service in the future. ‘I have to say that until you come in the door of a place, you never known what you are going to see,’ said the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív, as he performed the launch of the Melting Pot on Thursday night. ‘I often get briefings and often don’t get a real sense until I get to meet the people.’ ‘I know that this is a very serious operation and very important and very inclusive, but the one thing is that it seems to be a very happy organisation and a place for people to be welcomed and that’s one of the challenges. We certainly have got a lot richer. Irish society is a lot better off than many other societies across the globe, but that doesn’t mean that people’s lives have improved, because new problems manifest. ‘Young people at risk become a greater challenge with urbanisation. It is very important that people have a place to meet and that they can talk about issues.’