"It's ok not to feel ok

"It's ok not to feel ok

An inspiring and uplifting series of messages are appearing on  Costello's Centre Kilmessan Facebook page this month.

Over the past five days, the supermarkets Facebook page has featured messages from well known faces such as Marty Whelan, Sean Boylan, Nigel Connell, Damien Duff and Kilmessan's very own All Ireland Camogie Champions.

The theme of the messages and a series of other posts on the site is "it's ok not to feel ok."

The man behind this vital mental health message is Centra proprietor, Gary Costello, a father of two small boys who decided it was important to get a positive message out there.

"With everything that has been happening around  Meath recently, I felt we need to do something to get people to realise 'it is ok to not be ok' and to talk about mental health."

"There is a group of people involved and we came up with the idea of using the Facebook page and getting people to send messages.

"I met Marty Whelan at an event I was at, nabbed him and got him to do it and then there has been a group of us, ringing friends and people we might know to get in contact with other celebrities," he explained.

The series of messages has been running since the 1st December and will continue until Christmas Eve, when they will all be replayed.

While five have been played to date and another is due to go up this evening, there are more than 30 messages in all, so some days there may be more than one. 

RTE presenter, Marty Whelan started the ball rolling, pointing out that there is always someone out there to talk to, while the All Ireland camogie champions said that we are all loved by our friends and families.

"December can be a tough and lonely month but we can help each other by being there for one another," said former Irish International, Damien Duff.

Musician, Nigel Connell, said it had been a tough year for him as he had lost his mother, but he has also a new baby boy.

"Christmas can be tough, but remember it is always good to talk," he said.

Former Meath GAA manager, Sean Boylan  also had an upbeat message.."don't be afraid of the dark and the light will come," he said.

Gary explains that each of them made the videos themselves and then 'Whats Apped' them to him to upload onto Facebook.

'This has been very much a group effort. There are people involved in this campaign from all over the county - Kilmessan, Kildalkey  Athboy, everywhere - and they have all helped get people to do these messages," he said.

To date,  there have been nearly 45,000  views and 2,500 shares on Gary's own Facebook page and there have been responses to the campaign coming from as far away as Australia, Chicago and London.

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