Praise poured in for former Cork hurler Conor Cusack last night as he spoke candidly about his experience with depression on national television.
Conor Cusack’s featured as a guest on RTÉ’S Prime Time last night.
The Cloyne man, who is a brother of former Cork keeper Donal Og Cusack, spoke about the article he posted online in recent days which has since gone viral online.
His personal account of his battle with depression, which has been read and shared by tens of thousands of people, poignantly ends with a line of hope:“The most important thing is to take the first step. Please take it.”
Cusack wrote there was “no situation that is without hope, there is no person that can’t overcome their present difficulties.
“For those that are suffering silently, there is help out there and you are definitely not alone.
“Everything you need to succeed is already within you and you have all the answers your own issues.
“A good therapist will facilitate that process.”
He wrote it is “an act of courage to face up to your problems”.
Cusack’s piece comes in the wake of the tragic death last week of Galway senior hurler Niall Donoghue, who died just days before his 23rd birthday.
Hundreds of people shared their praise for the Cusack online, including a number of household names.
Former Munster player Alan Quinlan, who has spoken of his own battle with depression praised Cusack's honesty during his appearance on Prime Time last night.
"Well done Conor you were amazing and inspirational on with @MiriamOCal tonight #Respect," he wrote on Twitter last night.
Today FM's Matt Cooper said he was inspired by Conor's account, saying that he provided a 'public service' by speaking so honestly and openly about battling depression.
Prime Time host Miriam O'Callaghan spoke of her excitement at hosting the most talked about person in Ireland on her show last night, whose blog featured on Independent.ie yesterday.
Many have taken to social networks to thank Conor for his honesty, praising him for lifting the taboo on Ireland's approach to mental health issues.
“Huge admiration for Conor Cusack and his honesty,” one person wrote.
“Another Cusack speaking out about a great Irish taboo. Remarkable family,” another posted.
“Never has the phrase 'if you only do one thing today' been more apt. Do yourself a favour and read Conor Cusack's blog post,” another wrote.
Other leading GAA stars are also urging people to speak out about their problems because of the profound effect it can have on mental health.
Cork senior footballer and ambassador for Pieta House Eoin Cadogan said men need to realise there is nothing wrong with “opening up”.
In addition to teaming up with suicide crisis charity Pieta House and the national centre for youth mental health Headstrong, the Gaelic Players’ Association (GPA) also operates a national counselling service and a confidential helpline.
Clinical and counselling psychologist Dr Niall Muldoon said he’s certain the service has been contacted by players nationwide.
GPA head of communications Sean Potts has said that the organisation are “acutely aware that its membership is primarily made up of a demographic considered most at risk from suicide.”
By Denise Calnan