In conversation with… Gary McClarty

September 19th 2018

In conversation with… Gary McClarty

Tell us a little bit about yourself;

I’m Gary McClarty, Managing Director at MCL Insurance Services, operators of BoxyMo.ie. We’re delighted to support Jigsaw and to be the title sponsor of their upcoming flagship fundraising event, the BoxyMo.ie Giro D’Jigsaw, for the second year in a row.

What inspired you & BoxyMo to get involved with Jigsaw?

BoxyMo is similar to Jigsaw in that we target 17-25 year olds. 1-in-5 young people in Ireland also experience mental distress, while 21% of young adults reported that at some point in the last year they had engaged in deliberate self-harm. Road traffic collisions, and mental health remain a chronic problem for young people in Irish society. We are very passionate about this and like to work with charities like Jigsaw to help make a positive difference for young people in Ireland.

As one of our cyclists in 2017, what makes the Giro D’Jigsaw special?

The BoxyMo Giro D’Jigsaw allows you to experience Ireland in a whole different gear while supporting the National Centre for Youth Mental Health. It is exceptionally well organised and there is a real sense of community amongst the Jigsaw team and the cyclists taking part. Everyone encourages and supports each other to complete the challenge, in between the ongoing camaraderie with new friends. Thankfully I only did the last leg of the Giro, although instantly became part of the group!

What change would you like to see to youth mental health in Ireland?

Major stigma still surrounds mental health, with up to 60% of young people in Ireland with mental health problems not seeking professional help. We all have a role in supporting the young people around us, and to break the cycle of harm caused by mental health stigma. We need to build an open and supportive society and educate young people about mental health from an early age in an environment that is free of stigma and prejudice to improve health outcomes for this age group.

What other interests do you have?

Sport is a true passion of mine. I enjoy participating in charity golf tournaments and support local youth teams through different sponsorship from MCL brands. From elite sport through to grass-roots participation, sport can be used to reduce stigma and start positive conversations about mental health.