Are you Aware of this?

Most of us in the local riding club scene have come across equestrian coach Sonya McAleer. Sonya coaches all around the area and has been a guiding presence for many of the regions riders over the past few years.

Four years ago Sonya realised that she was suffering from depression and anxiety. In her own words “I will be totally honest, it took so much out of me that even the smallest task like getting out of bed felt like too much.I’m so lucky to have wonderful support from my partner Warren and my family and I came out the other side. That being said it’s still something that I have to work on daily, especially within the past year with the current situation in our society”.

As a show jumper and equestrian coach all too often Sonya comes across both children and adults who are also suffering from mental illness.It is because of this that she has created the Irish Equestrian Mental Health Project. The first step with this project is to raise awareness for a charity called AWARE NI. AWARE is the depression charity for Northern Ireland – and the only charity working exclusively for people with depression and bipolar disorder. AWARE delivers mental health and well-being programmes into communities, schools, colleges, universities and workplaces. Many people within our community could benefit from these services, therefore the aim of this project is to raise awareness of mental health charities within the equestrian community, so people know where they can go for help. The starting point is to raise much-needed funds for AWARE, which Sonya is doing by organising a charity raffle.

The list of prizes up for grabs in this raffle is very impressive, with everything from art-work by well known equestrian artists, through stallion semen, saddlery and clothing vouchers to sport-psychology mentoring. There really is something for everyone and its all in a very good cause. Why not support Aware and enter this fantastic raffle? After all, you just might not be aware of who needs the support offered by the mental health services.

Contact Sonya directly with any queries you have regarding the draw.You’ll get her on Facebook or you can contact her by phone on 00 44 7874 350665.

Payment to be made through link…/irishequestrianmentalhealt… Keep an eye for posts for each prize, prizes are still being sent in #irishequestrianmentalhealthproject#equestrian#mentalhealthawarenessEquijump LTDKarlswood StablesGreg Broderick Ballypatrick Stables