Five years ago, she was an early-morning presenter on Today FM. Now Ann-Marie Kelly has been inspired by a rapper to bring a positive message on mental health to Irish schools.
The filmmaker and broadcaster offers workshops in film, radio, music and theatre through her project Hear Me See Me.
Students shoot videos, make their own radio programmes and compose songs as part of the programme, which is mostly used in Transition year.
Ann-Marie, who now presents a breakfast show on Midlands 103, says she was influenced by the Portlaoise rapper Wally O'Loughlin.
She was so impressed by Wally that she made a documentary about him and it was screened by RTÉ.
Wally said that when he was younger he was suicidal, but he was saved by his songwriting.
"I was very interested in the idea that young people could be helped by self-expression," Ann- Marie told the Irish Independent.
She started her Hear Me See Me project by organising a two- day workshop for students at Mountrath Community School in Laois.
Ann-Marie and her fellow tutors, including rapper Wally himself, broach the topic of mental health in a roundabout way.
"I think children close down if you mention suicide or mental health directly. However, you can deal with some of the concerns of young people in a different way.
"If they were doing a music workshop, we might ask them what their favourite songs are and why.
"They might write rap lyrics for a song with a theme such as 'would you take care of a friend?'"
Students at one workshop in Laois did a radio vox pop on the street and asked people in their local area what they thought of teenagers. They also interviewed well known local people, including Laois-born newsreader Eileen Dunne and local TD Brian Stanley.
Some of the resulting interviews were broadcast on Midlands 103 in a programme called Youthtalk.
"I think as much as anything a programme like this builds up confidence," said Ann-Marie. "The students really feel that they have achieved something if they make a film, a radio programme or write a song."
One video made by second-level students in Arklow, Co Wicklow, looked at the themes of depression and heavy drinking. Another showed the downsides of Facebook.
Paul Downey, now 18, did the Hear Me See Me programme two years ago as a fifth-year student at Mountrath Community School.
"They gave me great confidence, and I am now doing a radio course at Dún Laoghaire College of Further Education.
"The Hear Me See Me programme helps you to interact with a group and looks at positive mental well-being.
"It gives you the chance to hear what other people in a group have to say and they listen to you.
"Since then, I have been doing work experience in Midlands 103 and helping out on outside broadcasts.
"Young people face a lot of pressure in school. There is also the whole issue of internet bullying. They are just letting people get to them on sites. You just have to step back from it and be yourself."
Hear Me See Me is one of a number of initiatives aimed at improving psychological well-being among teenagers.
The Breathe programme, developed by the Gaiety School of Acting and Cork Education and Training Board (ETB), also aims to improve the social and emotional lives of students through creative self-expression.
Former school principal Geraldine Canning of Cork ETB said: "Teenagers are facing a lot of problems with alcohol consumption, deep sexual relationships and lack of communication with their parents.
"The Breathe programme is about developing emotional intelligence. Through expression in the arts – it could be painting, music or performance – young people are helped to open up." After the successful Cork pilot, the programme will soon be rolled out in other areas.
Dr Joseph Duffy of Headstrong, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health, said: "One of the keys to success in schools is concentrating on strengthening positive mental health, rather than just looking for the signs and symptoms of mental illness.
"Students know about what affects their physical health, they know that good diet and exercise helps them, but if you ask them what helps them mentally they are more uncertain."
Dr Duffy added: "Programmes involving self-expression can have a very positive effect.
"Students need to be helped to strengthen their resilience.
"Programmes in schools should help students to look at problem-solving and develop coping skills. It is also vital to emphasise the importance of talking to somebody if they have a problem," he said.