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Nomophobia - Catch it early

On the 12th of May I had the pleasure to MC an event in the Whale Theatre in Greystones, Co. Wicklow.

The guests included Niall Breslin, Cllr. Jennifer Whitmore, Simon Harris, Rachel Harper and Stephen Donnelly and we discussed children's mental health and what measure can be put in place.

The evening was also a celebration of the work done thus far by the community to ensure the wellbeing of children in the area.

When I got involved in the project, led by Rachel Harper, the ambitious idea of making it a blueprint for the whole country was always in the back of everyones mind.

We named it "It takes a village" and the belief is that if the community at large genuinely has the child at heart, thing can and will happen.

Rachel has made some incredible steps toward it, starting a "no smartphones code" in primary schools (she is the principal of one of the local schools and all other principals have signed up to it) as well as a number of monthly activities that will be adopted by all the schools in Greystones as well as by local business etc...

On the night in question, I had the pleasure of interviewing live on stage both the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly and the Minister for Higher Education, Simon Harris .

When I introduced them to the audience I said that I wanted to talk to them as "human beings" and not as politicians.

The first question I asked Stephen, a father of three, was: "What concerns you the most as a father?"

He spoke about the fears around social media and the use of smartphones as one of his main concerns for his children.

I am glad to see his article in today's The Irish Times talking about the idea of adopting the "no smartphone code" nationally.

Let's keep our children in mind.

Let them be children.

Let's make sure they don't develop nomophobia.

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