Life

Wednesday 21 August 2019

'I have been guilty of not reaching out when I've felt low or lonely' – Mary Kennedy opens up about mental health

The RTE broadcaster talks about loneliness, mental health, and her reluctance to retire.

RTE presenter Mary Kennedy. Picture: David Conachy
RTE presenter Mary Kennedy. Picture: David Conachy

RTE presenter Mary Kennedy has spoken about how difficult it can be to ask for help in times of personal crisis.

The Nationwide host, who is due to retire from RTE this September, said picking up the phone and calling a friend, can be a daunting task when you’re struggling.

"In the past I have been guilty of not reaching out when I've felt low or lonely,” she said.

“My friends might read it in an interview and would say 'All you had to do was lift the phone' but that takes courage as well. So my advice to people is to talk with a friend in that moment and just go for it."

She added; "You have to acknowledge that loneliness is part of life. You can't know happiness deeply unless you know the other side as well."

Kennedy attends regular counselling sessions which she believes is essential to maintaining good mental health.

Mary Kennedy
Mary Kennedy

"I believe it's essential to go to a counsellor when you are in a crisis but I also think it's important to continue going to counselling when you're feeling well. It's nice to maintain that mental health.

"I don't understand this taboo about anything like that.... when you get to a certain age, as I have, I feel what's the point in opening your mouth and saying stuff if it's not true? What 's the point in pretending to be something you're not?" she told the RTE Guide.

The broadcaster, who is due to retire from the station this September, acknowledges that it can be difficult asking for help.

At the end of September Kennedy will reach the official retirement age of 65 and is due to leave Nationwide.

However she would like to keep working beyond this age.

"I would love to stay but it's up to RTE if I go or not. All I can say is that I love what I do and I'd love it to continue."

Kennedy recently became a grandmother and described her grandson Paddy as an 'angel'.

"It's unbelievable. I was afraid when it was coming up to the time of the birth, thinking what if I don't feel all those emotions? But those feelings grow and grow. Now every morning I ask them to send more photographs of him."

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