BALLYMENA Funeral Director Willie John O'Donnell has always emphasised the importance of community support for people in difficult times.
His approach to anyone seeking his help is based on the three foundations of guidance, dignity and respect.
This Sunday, December 15, 2019 Willie John is hosting a "Christmas Gathering" in support of Action Mental Health to help raise much needed funds and the profile of Mental Health Awareness, locally.
Willie John said: “Every Christmas we host a fund raising event at our premises at 41-43 Mount Street, Ballymena.
“It is our way of giving something back to our community at this time of year.
“This year we are raising funds for ‘Action Mental Health’.
“Everyone is welcome to come along for some festive refreshments and relax and enjoy some superb music and song with the talented Una McGill and Michael Mawhinney.
“We all now have a greater appreciation of mental health awareness in the community.
“Christmas brings joy and celebration, but it also can be a time of sadness in many homes”.
The following statistics were the reason WJ O’Donnell’s chose "Action Mental Health" as their nominated charity this year.
Founded in 1963, Action Mental Health (AMH) is a local charity which works to enhance the quality of life and the employability of people with mental health needs or a learning disability in Northern Ireland.
One in five adults in Northern Ireland will show signs of a mental illness.
When matched to 17 other countries, NI had the second highest rates of mental ill-health.
Prevalence of mental illness in Northern Ireland is 25% higher than in England.
Almost 50% of long-term absences from work are due to mental health issues.
Willie John continued: “Christmas can be a difficult time of the year with painful memories for a family who have lost someone during the year, or for those who have experienced bereavement in the past at this time of year.
“We at WJ O'Donnell & Sons Funeral Directors and Monumental Services, operating in Ballymena, Portglenone and Toomebridge are not only there to support you at the time of a funeral or bereavement but 365 days, year on year thereafter.
“We're available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and we cover all areas.
“Call us on 028 2563 1406 or 028 2582 2242.”