We all need to reach out to our children with sensitivity
It's not often that I attend an event that I leave wanting to tell everybody about what I just heard. I am referring to the compelling stories of 'service users' of the psychiatric and mental health service. Behind the clinical jargon lay the emotions of vulnerable humans who didn't have readily identifiable physical problems, easily diagnosed and treated.
One in four people encounter an episode of mental ill-health in their lifetime. I myself suffered a breakdown in 1996 from nervous exhaustion and depression, gaining enormous strength from subsequent psychotherapy.
These journeys of anxiety, low self-esteem, fear and isolation are aggravated and extenuated by the failure of society to listen. Family members, classmates in school, friends and the primary care system weren't able to respond to the early symptoms so that they could get appropriate, timely help. The stigma of mental illness is still alive and well in the Ireland of 2015, forcing denial of problems to even our nearest and dearest.