Friday 30 September 2016

'Mental health issues are not a life sentence' - Aware launch Depression Awareness Week

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Published 19/01/2016 | 14:24

Colm Carey, Dr Claire Hayes, Clinical Director at Aware, Niall Jones and Dominic Layden, CEO at Aware
Credit: Shane O'Neill Photography
Colm Carey, Dr Claire Hayes, Clinical Director at Aware, Niall Jones and Dominic Layden, CEO at Aware Credit: Shane O'Neill Photography

As Depression Awareness Week gets underway, leading charity Aware has issued a reminder that mental health issues do not equate to a life sentence.

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Aware's campaign for 2016 is entitled 'Stand Up For Surviving'.

Dr. Claire Hayes, Clinical Director at Aware, said that both depression and bipolar orders can be extremely challenging and harrowing to deal with.

"Our concern is that often society’s reaction to and focus on suicide can perpetuate the idea that it is in some way a valid ‘option’ or an inevitable outcome.

"We want to remind people that there are helpful options available and that hundreds of thousands of individuals and families live through this journey and survive.

"The OECD reports that the average age of onset for all mental health issues is 14, and I believe that we can all work together to encourage people to access help at an earlier stage.

"In that way we can help alleviate some of the pain and suffering going on across the country," she said.

Meanwhile Aware chief executive Dominic Layden revealed that Aware received 11,000 calls to its support line and 2,300 e-mails to its support mail service last year.

“We regularly hear from people whose lives have changed or indeed saved, thanks to the support and insight they have gained from Aware,” said Mr Layden.

Last year, 30 years since its foundation, Aware received over 400,000 contacts through its nationwide network.

Aware offers a range of support, education and information services catering for all age groups from 15 upwards.

Aware can be contacted on 1890 303 302 or supportmail@aware.ie.

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