'Post Orla' Will Help You Tell Loved Ones Why They Matter

'Post Orla' is a project where people create postcards about why someone matters to them. 

'Post Orla' is a project where people create postcards about why someone matters to them. 
The idea came about after the suicide of a woman named Orla from Manorhamilton, Leitrim in 2018. Her husband Scott set up the site.
“After she died there were a number of people in groups that she was involved in that wanted to do something to celebrate her life,” said Scott.
She was heavily involved in her community through the women’s centre, a writer’s group, the choir and working in the local library.
After she passed her friends and family wanted to honour her and reach out to everyone that knew her. They wanted to reach out to people suffering as Orla did, with anxiety and depression.
A week before her death she asked a friend what they would do if they were stuck and they needed someone, and they answered: “I’d ring you.”
Scott said: “We thought that we could do something where people could share their expressions of how much they need other people in their lives.”
He had a meeting with friends, family and the women’s centre in September 2018 and after that he and Assumpta, the director of the women’s centre settled on the idea of 'Post Orla'.
The aim was not to make it about anxiety and depression but to recognise mental health without making it the centre of attention.
They had artists design some postcards, and with the support of the library staff and Leitrim County Council placed them in the library for people to write and place in a box.
“I was very happy with it, it wasn’t just focusing on illness as much as the things that help you deal with illness.”
They received 60 postcards, and last weekend had a show in the North Leitrim's Women’s Centre exhibiting them. Scott picked seven to read out and more can be seen on the website.
Scott said the event was full, there was even a waiting list.
“She was very highly regarded.”
They will hang in the centre for anyone to have a look and Scott hopes to keep the project going and will keep the website up for another year.
“I hope that if someone is feeling low in themselves and they come across one of these cards, they might think for a moment that that message is about them, that someone needs them,” he said.
“Maybe someone who’s feeling bad about themselves might see something of themselves in these affirmations”
If you would like to tell someone you love they matter, head over to the 'Post Orla' website
Written by Róise McGagh, Intern at Family Friendly HQ; follow her on Twitter @roisemcgagh 

Róise McGagh

Róise is a contributor to Family Friendly HQ.

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