Putting Together the Pieces by Ciara McCarthy
Updated: Dec 2, 2020
Todd’s Leap ‘family together session’
The West Belfast Health and Wellbeing Programmeis funded by Cooperation Ireland and The Executive Office. The project has approximately 150 participants engaged who are being individually supported to address negative social, emotional and mental health and wellbeing issues they have been experiencing. CRJI are a delivery partner on this programme alongside USDT, Sally Gardens, Roden Street Community Development Group, HEART Project, Blackie River Community Groups, UACF, etc. CRJI are a grassroots organisation who have been supporting local communities in West Belfast for over 20 years. From this work, CRJI has seen first hand how entire families have been affected by suicide, substance misuse, addiction and mental health. CRJI devised a tailored intervention called “Putting Together The Pieces” which utilises a holistic approach to address such issues with the overall aim of assisting participants to create positive change and meaningful transformation.
A key element of this programme is family together sessions, which intend to support families with family restoration, to strengthen communication, repair relationships, build understanding and encourage familial harmony. Take a look at a recent family together session which took place this month at Todd’s Leap…
This was a jam-packed day which involved wall climbing, a 500m zip line across the forest, blindfold driving and target shooting. These activities challenged the participants to communicate and support each other in completing these challenging tasks. For example, blindfolded driving required the driver to completely depend on the other participants to give directions and trust their communication to get them to the finish line!
This event also creatively looked at the theme of grief and loss. The participants wore remembrance t-shirts for their loved ones and shared warm-hearted memories throughout the day, exploring different emotions. This event was to provide a stepping stone to move the participants from one moment to the next and encourage new ways of repairing, restoring, and regenerating ourselves in and through the grieving process. Clinical psychologist Henry Seiden believed that “Creativity is the essential response to grief.” it is important to us to help others to find effective ways to channel their feelings which will ultimately help improve their coping mechanisms, resilience and self-care.
The participants reported ‘What an amazing fun-filled day spent together and celebrating our loved ones who aren’t with us anymore, they would’ve loved this!’