Radio presenter John Murray has revealed how he felt the stigma of mental illness after his return to work a year ago following depression.
"Yes I felt it - not on a great scale," he admitted. "When I went back to work, you'd notice that a few people wouldn't necessarily be running up to you.
"And I understand it because it's one of these illnesses that people who don't have it don't appreciate what it is and they don't know how to deal with it.
"I can't say enough good about my colleagues. When I went back to work they were fantastic," he said.
The Radio One host kick- started Christmas on RTE yesterday when he launched his second Christmas album, 'A Murray Christmas 2', in support of Aware, at Easons in the Dundrum Shopping Centre.
The album features a line-up of Irish artists like Eimear Quinn, Lisa Hannigan, Damien Dempsey and Declan O'Rourke, as well as readings from writer Michael Harding, Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh and 'Downton Abbey' actor Allen Leech.
As well as helping to fund Aware, the CD's content was carefully chosen to allow people suffering with depression to 'stick it on in the car and to have a moment away from commercialism," said Aware's Clinical Director Dr Claire Hayes.
She said Christmas can be a difficult time for people suffering with depression because of the added financial and family pressures.
John Murray told how he is now feeling "pretty good" a year after recovery from his battle with the illness, saying: "It's a wonderful feeling."