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Ray in TV bid to help us run off depression

TODAY FM star Ray D'Arcy has made a new TV programme about the sensitive issue of depression, the Herald can reveal.

And the popular presenter (46) has revealed how he believes that the key to beating some of the downbeat attitude that prevails among the Irish public at the moment could lie in regular exercise.

A keen runner, Ray runs approximately 20 miles a week and has been spearheading the Great Ireland Run 2011, a series of short races all over Ireland.

"I run for my sanity and I would love everybody to get out there and run because it clears the head and generates endorphins," he told the Herald.

"I'm doing this TV3 documentary on depression, it's a three-part series, and I've been talking in a doctor about it and he said some psychiatrists in America are actually prescribing exercise for it.

"They're saying that you have to run or walk three times a week. It's been proven scientifically that a healthy mind equals a healthy body and it's so easy to do -- you just need a pair of runners."

The presenter, whose radio show now pulls in 320,000 viewers according to the latest JNLR figures, went on to explain how depression is an illness that could increasingly affect Irish people, given the ongoing financial gloom.

"Unfortunately it is one of the side-effects of the recession and unemployment does affect your mental health. Ireland is tiny, there are only 4.5m people here but I think we have delusions about grandeur about our country.

"We've been told by so many people 'aren't you great' and it's all about the land of the million welcomes. But we were punching above our weight. We sort of lost the run of ourselves."



Forgiveness

He once famously stated that he would leave the country if Enda Kenny ever became Taoiseach -- and he believes there's a huge task lying ahead of the Government in sorting out the economic crisis.

"What's going on is soul destroying. What we really need it some debt forgiveness or the American system where people just hand back the keys and start again," said Ray.

"If people look at the big picture, it's a horribly depressing picture and the people in power seem to be ignoring it. There has to be some really creative thinking on this and it needs to be something major."

mfinn@herald.ie


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