DOZENS of people consulted with Action On Hearing Loss during an event held in County Tyrone to mark National Loneliness Day.
Inspire Mental Health invited charities and organisations to The Junction community hub in Dungannon on Friday. The free event was aimed at encouraging members of the public to get out and connect with each other through services and recreational activities.
Action on Hearing Loss Information Officer Barry Grimes was on hand to advise individuals on a range of issues including how to protect their hearing, how to manage tinnitus and how to get the most from hearing aids.
Other services in attendance included Deaf Blind NI, Mid Ulster Council, Autism NI, Women's Aid and the PSNI who gave out information on crime prevention.
In tandem with the information stalls, a tea dance was held as well as yoga sessions with Philip Morgan, dancing with Cathy Jones, a fitness class with HD Fitness and Pilates with Stevie Kennedy. Entertainment was provided by a number of local school choirs.
Inspire Mental Health's Community Well-being Manager Joanne Curran said, “This is the first event of this kind that we have held and it is great to see so many organisations getting involved and highlighting the importance of good mental health.”
Also in attendance on Friday was Inspire's Communications and Engagement Manager, Jenna Booth.
“Today is all about connecting the public with the services that exist out there and that is why it is particularly heartening to see so many organisations getting involved,” said Ms Booth.
“Obviously today is National Loneliness Day but our focus is on connectivity and bringing people together. And with so many people in attendance I don't see why this shouldn't become an annual event for us.”
Barry Grimes, Information Officer at Action on Hearing Loss, said: "It was great to attend this event on National Loneliness Day and raise awareness of the link between isolation and hearing loss. People who are deaf or have a hearing loss face many communication barriers which can lead to feelings of loneliness and loss of confidence. At Action on Hearing Loss we offer information and support to people with hearing loss to help them feel more empowered and included in society. By learning some simple communication tips family and friends can make sure their loved ones with hearing loss are included and less likely to become isolated.”