2013 Volunteer Ireland Awards, Children and Youth

Violet Gavin, Positive Mental Health

West Barna, Co. Galway

Violet Gavin founded the non-profit organisation Positive Mental Health in 2005 and volunteered for the cause ever since. The organisation was formed to tackle Ireland's alarming rates of suicide and mental illness. Violet formed the organisation following the devastating loss of her own daughter and has worked tirelessly to grow Positive Mental Health to the extensive educational service it is today – reaching as many young people as possible. Since its inception, PMH has delivered their mental & emotional skills modules to thousands of students and the feedback is strikingly positive.  PMH is focussed on empowering young people to recognise their own state of mental/emotional wellbeing and equipping themselves with the skills to deal with difficult times, now and in their futures, as well as knowing what to do when others in their own lives are suffering.

Between setting up an entire organisation and researching methods to prevent suicide and mental illness, Violet rallies people behind her to bring the fruits of her research - mental and emotional wellbeing courses - to schools around the West of Ireland. Niamh Nic Aodha Bhuí nominated Violet for a Volunteer Ireland Award, she said, “Violet is a force of nature and deserves respect, recognition and support for all the work she does. She is an amazing person, both professionally and personally making it her mission to look after others and give them the best chances in life. “



Photo courtesy of Gail Fox