- 25 Oct 18
On World Mental Health Day, October 10, prominent Irish figures came together in Smock Alley to talk about issues related to mental health.
On World Mental Health Day, October 10, Hot Press joined forced with Lyons Tea and Pieta House to host Now We're Talking, a town hall gathering in Smock Alley, where prominent Irish figures talked about issues related to mental health. Over the course of the night, we featured two unique panel discussions.
The first Now We're Talking panel on the night featured RTE 2FM broadcaster Eoghan McDermott, who talked – with great eloquence – about his own struggles with self-harm, depression, and a relationship breakdown, as well as being an Ambassador for Pieta House.
He was joined by Dr. Niall Crumlish, Consultant Psychiatrist at St. James’ Hospital, who talked about the services on offer for mental health, gave advice on those who want to seek medical help for themselves or their family members, and pointed out developing trends in the understanding of mental health
The panel also involved a lively discussion on sport in mental health, during which Irish International Sene Naoupu talked very revealingly about the pressures of playing at an elite level.
The panel also featured acclaimed writer Rob Doyle, who reflected on his experience of mental health in relation to being an artist, and spoke about how important it is to be protective of one’s well-being when it comes to living a solitary lifestyle.
The Now We're Talking discussion, at times very intense, was leavened across the evening with some poignant guest performances. Lisa Hannigan kicked things off for us, before Stephanie Rainey bared her soul with a performance of ‘100 Like Me’, a song about that lightbulb moment when someone becomes aware for the first time that feeling isolated or depressed is not unique – and that there are hundreds of others out there feeling the same way.
For our second panel discussion, we sat down with Dr. Ciara Kelly, journalist and broadcaster, who discussed the media bubble and how people in general find it much harder to talk about mental health issues than those in certain professions, including journalism and broadcasting.
Brian Higgins, CEO of Pieta House, spoke about the work that this vital charity has been doing with Hot Press and Lyons Tea, as well as discussing the challenges facing Pieta House today – and the importance of not setting the bar too low for ourselves.
Meanwhile, Louize Carroll, bass player for The Blizzards, told us about her day job as a creative psychologist, and the role this has to play for people who are struggling with mental health issues. And she also questioned conventional views in relation to mental health, in a very interesting way.
Finally, Tipperary hurler Seamus Hennessy spoke about how close this subject was to his heart, opening up about his mother’s– suicide and how this affected him during his childhood. He also announced his plans to run an ‘ice marathon’ at the end of this year in the Antarctica, with the aim of raising €200,000. Talk about resilience!
During the second panel, there was also a spoken word performance from writer and star of Dublin Old School, Emmet Kirwan, whose poems offer fresh perspectives on what it’s like to face, and overcome, hardship. His poem, 'I Love You Woman' was a particularly moving depiction of the things which people have a habit of leaving unsaid. There was a brilliant performance from Bray trio Wyvern Lingo, whose single ‘I Love You, Sadie' focused on the positivity of self-acceptance; and to end the night Lisa Hannigan returned for what was a lovely, emotional end-piece. With a packed house, loads of opportunities to have a cup of tea and a chat, intense discussion and superb performances, it turned out to be a brilliant evening...
Here's a brief video capturing everything that happened over the course of the evening: