Ballina Migrant Health Forum and Mayo Intercultural Action held a Well-Being Evening for Migrant Communities on the 13th of March in Family Resources Centre, Ballina. The event aimed to raise awareness amongst migrants about the services available in the county that are working to ensure and maintain people's well-being. The need for such an event came from understanding that migrants are mostly unaware of the public and community services in the county that are addressing issues of general and mental health, security from domestic and other abuse, drug addiction and lifestyle.
The first part of the evening gathered together relevant local agencies, services, entrepreneurs and local migrants. Representatives from HSE Addiction Counseling Service, Mayo Women Support Services, MCI, Cancer Screening Services, Public Health Nurse, Ballina Family Resource Centre, AWARE, Choose Live Reach Out and Intercultural Youth Group NYP Ballina informed local migrants on their services and activities and how to avail of them. The information session was followed by a practical workshop for migrants on how to maintain wellness and reduce stress facilitated by Ann Caulfield.
Migrant communities from different countries of origin including Burma, Brazil, Poland, Russia, Nigeria, and others attended the evening. They gave very positive feedback as they have learnt new essential and useful information, as well as becoming aware of the whole range of free and low cost community and public support mechanisms available in the county.
Ballina Migrant Health Forum exists to identify the unique health needs of the Ballina Migrant Communities and to communicate these needs to the Ballina Primary Care team and other stakeholders. We will work with the Primary Care Team and others in developing solutions to address these needs and the health inequalities experienced by migrants. We will develop two-way communication between the migrant communities and local health care providers.
Mayo Intercultural Action (MIA) exists to promote the positive effects of interculturalism and the meaningful participation of migrants and their families in all aspects of the community in County Mayo. MIA is a voluntary group whose vision is of an open, just and equal Ireland, where human rights and cultural differences are respected and where new Irish communities are offered equal rights and opportunities.
Since its foundation in 2004 MIA has worked to generate a real and optimistic impact on the lives of migrants and their families as well as the wider population in County Mayo over the past number of years. Achievements include:
Publication of "Building a Diverse Mayo - A Report on Immigration, Integration and Services Provision" which was well received and continues to contribute to policy formation in the county.
High level of publicity in the public sphere on matters relating to migrants experiences in County Mayo.
Contribution to the formation of the Mayo Integration Forum which has become significant arena for discussion, increasing statutory and NGO organisations awareness of migration issues.
Alliance building with a wide range of agencies including other NGOs, statutory and private sector organisations at local regional and national levels.
Delivery of two significant training, educational and development programmes - European Refugee Fund Programme and Equality Women's Measure.