Friday 9 December 2016

Rugby star offers teens hope on mental health- 'I hope my story can give people hope that recovery is possible'

Published 01/03/2016 | 02:30

Hannah Tyrrell is hoping to wear the green jersey in Rio
Hannah Tyrrell is hoping to wear the green jersey in Rio

Irish sports star Hannah Tyrrell hopes that opening up about her struggle with bulimia will give others "hope that recovery is possible".

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Tyrell, who joined the Irish women's rugby team as a winger two years ago, is urging those suffering from mental health issues to talk about their problems.

Tyrell (25) struggled with bulimia and anorexia nervosa during her teenage years.

"I had this deep internal hatred of myself," Hannah said, "I just felt deeply flawed. I had a very low body image and low self-confidence. I thought I wasn't skinny enough or good enough."

As her condition worsened Hannah began to self-harm, but she finally got help after she started working as a psychiatric nurse trainee at the age of 19. She turned to Pieta House, a non-profit counselling service.

Hannah was the keynote speaker at Ireland's first conference on self-harm, sponsored by Pieta House and St Patrick's Mental Health Services.

She wants to spread the word that recovery is possible

"I hope my story can give people hope that recovery is possible," said the Clondalkin native, who is happy to visit schools and talk to students about overcoming mental health issues.

Tyrell is hoping to bring home a medal if the Irish international women's team qualifies for the Rio Olympics in August.

Irish Independent

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