Through blogging, I have discovered the power of talking about mental health and how it can not only help me to let it out, but also to read others writing about their experiences – a problem shared is a problem halved, and all that. I am of the belief that mental health is something we need to work to de-stigmatise in this country, the time of our sheltered attitudes towards people “suffering from their nerves” and shunning those who suffer in silence needs to be gone. Thankfully this seems to be a changing attitude in modern Ireland. We are living in a time where mental illness is becoming a public concern – recent reports have shown dramatic increases in the amounts of clinical depression diagnoses, linked to the economic crisis and it’s effect on family life in Ireland, while various charity events are held on a regular basis to raise awareness and funds for groups who provide mental health supports in the community. As a society, we are learning that it is important to talk.
I was thrilled to be contacted by Cork’s “Like Magazine” last month about a piece they were planning about Cork women with experiences with mental illness. Having spoken on this blog and other places about my experiences with postnatal depression, I jumped at the chance to share my story and be involved in an article which would hopefully help someone else who maybe had some of the same things going on in their heads. I was emailed some questions which I answered as best I could, and the end result is in this months magazine.
I feel very lucky to have been selected to share my story for the article by Maria Tracey – the others involved are from various different backgrounds, careers and each have their own tales to tell – Louise George from the Douglas Yoga Centre, Cork singer songwriter Stephanie Rainey and Dr Karen McCarthy from UCC’s Dept of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy.
You can check out the article in the October edition of Like Magazine which is available free of charge from various points around the city, or read it online here.
Let me know what you think – what can we do to improve mental health in this country, how can we get more people talking about it and what changes need to be made? I’m interested in getting a conversation started so let me know in the comments!