Adolescents and the importance of friendships in the school setting

Adolescents and the importance of friendships in the school setting

For most of us, we spend a large proportion of our time in the school setting, from as young as about 3 years of age to 18 years or thereabouts. Nowadays, from a very young age, many children enter into a very different environment to what they are used to in the home...
Mental health survey reveals extent and effects of stigma.

Mental health survey reveals extent and effects of stigma.

Ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day, St Patrick’s Mental Health Services has revealed that Irish attitudes to mental health difficulties are still fraught with stigma and negativity. St Patrick’s Mental Health Services’ annual attitude survey, which questioned a...
International Youth Day 2017

International Youth Day 2017

International Youth Day is being held around the world on the 12th August. It is 28 years since it was first set up by the United Nations to celebrate young peoples’ views, initiatives, and efforts in trying to make the world a better place. This year’s theme is “The...
What is psychosis, what are the stages and who is at risk?

What is psychosis, what are the stages and who is at risk?

Understanding the misunderstood Psychosis is a condition of fear. For some it starts with a feeling of sensory overload. For others, the mind becomes an unsafe place where everyday worries become plausible fears. Getting the best help available for a loved one often...
Mental health needs and work – what are your rights?

Mental health needs and work – what are your rights?

I’m taking today and tomorrow to focus on my mental health. Hopefully I’ll be back next week refreshed and back to 100% Madalyn Parker So wrote Madalyn Parker, a web developer in America, in a work email to colleagues in June. Her email, and her boss’s positive...
A Pebble in the Pond

A Pebble in the Pond

Addiction is not just suffered by those going through it. It is also suffered by those who see their family members or loved ones going through it. Like a pebble being dropped into a pond the effects of someone with an addiction sends ripples of worry, concern, abuse...
The story that lives…. 20 years on

The story that lives…. 20 years on

Anyone who knows me will know that my passions include rugby, technology and Harry Potter. I was introduced to these books when I was working the night shift in a Children’s Mental Health Unit in London almost 20 years ago. I remember explaining to my nursing...
The brain and diet. Carbohydrates.

The brain and diet. Carbohydrates.

Image courtesy of Safefood.eu Brain function is vital for existence. We all need to feed ours brain regularly with the right mix for it to work properly & to feel mentally well. The human brain uses up to 20% of the energy used by the entire human body which is...
5 common exam season issues and how to deal with them

5 common exam season issues and how to deal with them

Exam season arrives with the added baggage of stress and anxiety and for many parents and students this can be overwhelming. So, in preparation for this year’s Leaving and Junior Certificate exams, St Patrick’s Mental Health Services is providing advice on how to stay...
Answering children’s questions about the Manchester Terrorist Attack

Answering children’s questions about the Manchester Terrorist Attack

‘How do I explain to my children when they ask me questions about the recent events at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester?’ The reality is that because modern-day media is everywhere, it is almost impossible to avoid seeing upsetting images or stories of this...
Dealing with the emotional impact of terror

Dealing with the emotional impact of terror

(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) By its nature the horrendous act in Manchester Monday night will have the greatest emotional effect on teenagers. They will relate to being at a concert and the fear, chaos and devastation an act like this would create. They will...
13 Reasons for Reflection

13 Reasons for Reflection

Upon recommendation from a number of people, I eventually got to watch the much talked about Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. My apologies for being a little late to this discussion, but as a father of 3 small children, finding time to binge-watch a Netflix series over...
Poetry Therapy

Poetry Therapy

One of my very earliest memories of writing is of learning how to write my name at age 3 or 4. I saw nothing wrong with writing in large letters “mad” then underneath “ge”. It looked lovely to me. Adults around me laughed. “You have to write it...
Does having depression increase the risk of stigmatisation?

Does having depression increase the risk of stigmatisation?

Depression is a common mental health disorder affecting as many as 350 million people worldwide at any one time according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Depression is a mood disorder often referred to as major depressive disorder or clinical depression. It is...
Depression – Misunderstood

Depression – Misunderstood

What’s in a word? How many times have we heard the words “It’s so depressing” or “I am depressed”? What does it really mean and in saying these words are we talking about an experience that is perhaps fleetingly negative? The words depression and depressive illness...
#MindYourSelfie Day 2017

#MindYourSelfie Day 2017

This year we launched our new School Resource Packs on #MindYourSelfie Day (31st March). We were blown away by the support and feedback from schools for this initiative. As some of you are aware, on #MindYourSelfie Day we held a social media campaign to promote the...
Blathnaid is boosting her Selfie ‘Steem

Blathnaid is boosting her Selfie ‘Steem

RTE Presenter Blathnaid Treacy and U2 star Adam Clayton, along with Ireland’s top bloggers will be sharing their selfies on Friday 31st March to launch the new #MindYourSelfie School Resource Packs; our exciting school mental health activity pack. Blathnaid, RTE’s...
A life well-lived

A life well-lived

Everyone is talking about ‘Happiness’, but so far no single definition of it actually exists. One thing is certain. Everybody wants to be ‘Happy’. Although there may be some rare pathological exceptions to this generalisation, in reality the human desire for...
Join us on March 31st for #MindYourSelfie Day 2017

Join us on March 31st for #MindYourSelfie Day 2017

How Can You Get Involved? take a selfie and post to your social media accounts on Friday March 31st. Use the hashtag #MindYourSelfie #MindYourSelfie is an initiative that was developed by Walk in My Shoes, the mental health awareness and education campaign of St....
10 ways gender equality matters to mental health

10 ways gender equality matters to mental health

Today is International Women’s Day, a day which serves as a call to action for achieving gender equality around the world. This year on International Women’s Day, the 7th World Congress on Women’s Mental Health will be taking place in Dublin and shining a gendered...
Eating Disorders – Family members and stigma

Eating Disorders – Family members and stigma

People who experience mental health difficulties, including those experiencing an eating disorder, often encounter the stigmatising opinion of other people resulting in the devaluing of the person, discrimination and social exclusion. One of the main reasons this...
Eating disorders come in one size – Miserable

Eating disorders come in one size – Miserable

One of the most damaging perceptions about eating disorders is that they are something that can be seen, that their severity is based on physical presentation and that only extremely thin individuals are ill. One of the big barriers to treatment is a feeling of ‘not...
What Lies Beneath

What Lies Beneath

We all wear masks in various aspects of our lives to fulfil our daily roles, to be professional, to meet expectations. For people who experience mental health difficulties, including anyone with an eating disorder diagnosis, that mask is one that they often struggle...
Stigma and Eating Disorders

Stigma and Eating Disorders

Often when we hear of terms like ‘eating disorder’, ‘anorexia’ or ‘bulimia’ we have an associated image in our heads related to those terms. For those who have not had any personal experience of eating disorders, the conjured image is often an emaciated celebrity who...
Disconnect and Connect

Disconnect and Connect

Tips for Parents to manage technology use at home: 1. Be the best role model you can be: Switch off the mobile when your child is present, don’t be distracted by emails or news feeds. Demonstrate that there is a time for technology but there are also times when...
Alarming Rise in Rates of Adolescent Self-Harm

Alarming Rise in Rates of Adolescent Self-Harm

Ahead of their upcoming conference on 1st March, St Patrick’s Mental Health Services and Pieta House are urging parents, school-teachers and caregivers across the country to get educated on the subject of self-harm. St Patrick’s CEO, Paul Gilligan, said, “The increase...
How cancer taught me compassion and gratitude in suffering

How cancer taught me compassion and gratitude in suffering

I should probably be afraid of Tom Hanks. His movies are the ones I seem to be watching just before those I love depart this world. Morbid, I know, but it’s amazing the things you remember after traumatic events. My mum and I loved watching movies together and on the...
Short-Film Competition 2016-17

Short-Film Competition 2016-17

The WIMS Short Film Competition Awards took place in January here in St. Patrick’s . The judges included Michael Doherty (RTE Guide), Sylvia Thompson (Irish Times) and Paul Gilligan. The two main objectives for the film competition were to improve awareness about...
Self Harm Awareness Conference 2017

Self Harm Awareness Conference 2017

We need to talk about Self-Harm – St Patrick’s Mental Health Services and Pieta House to tackle a critical topic in the Aviva Stadium. St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, Ireland’s largest independent mental health service provider in partnership with Pieta...
10 ways to get through Blue Monday and beyond

10 ways to get through Blue Monday and beyond

After the buzz and good cheer of the festive season, January can feel like one long and exhausting slog. Researchers have dubbed January 16th as ‘Blue Monday’ or the most depressing day of the year. It’s dark and cold outside, summer is nowhere in sight, morale is at...
Turning January Blues Into January Boosts!

Turning January Blues Into January Boosts!

With ‘Blue Monday’ fast approaching, St Patrick’s Mental Health Services is encouraging us to focus on positive change for 2017. Edel Fortune, Day Services Programme Manager at St Patrick’s, says, “New Year should be a time when we think of change, of moving forward...
6 tips for coping with SAD

6 tips for coping with SAD

Have you ever noticed that as the days get shorter, so does your mood. Your energy dips and you become irritable. You could be living with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a form of depression related to changes in the seasons. For most people SAD emerges...
How to Reduce Stress at Work: 6 Simple Strategies Anyone Can Follow

How to Reduce Stress at Work: 6 Simple Strategies Anyone Can Follow

Work is stressful, and so what we do about that stress is important. Anxiety, depression, burnout and substance misuse may all arise directly or indirectly from stress in the work environment. At their most extreme work-related stress issues make up a significant...
Stop Male Suicide

Stop Male Suicide

“Hoping men will become more like women is costing us the lives of our fathers, brothers, sons, uncles and nephews.” This year the theme for International Men’s Day is Stop Male Suicide. On average one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds somewhere in the world,...
Seasons and Stresses

Seasons and Stresses

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and what can we do about it? Contrary to popular belief most mental health problems are neither longstanding nor permanent. Mental health difficulties are typically episodic and they are most often transient. While they...

Eating Disorder, disordered eating or just a diet?

Today is International No Diet Day. One of the questions many people have is how do you diagnose an eating disorder? This occurs for people who become concerned about a friend, a child or themselves. Most people find going to the text books unhelpful as the categories...
Tips on how to be an emotionally healthy parent

Tips on how to be an emotionally healthy parent

All children have the capacity to live emotionally healthy lives. Parents and teachers play a key role in influencing and nurturing this.  For children being emotionally healthy requires feeling loved, believing in themselves, being able to be happy and feeling safe....
Survey shows 22% say they would conceal suicidal thoughts

Survey shows 22% say they would conceal suicidal thoughts

Findings released today by St Patrick’s Mental Health Services ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day 2016 indicate that stigma is still a significant barrier which prevents people from seeking help for mental health difficulties. The research, which is carried out...
Back to school: get children off to a good start in secondary school

Back to school: get children off to a good start in secondary school

Starting secondary school is an under-discussed issue. We often tend to overlook the challenges of the child moving from primary school to secondary school, which for me is more often a problematic transition. This transition is often made more challenging if the...
Love yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be happy.

Love yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be happy.

On July 31st, the Y.E.S. panel set up shop on Cow’s Lane, Dublin 8, as part of ‘Make Your Motto’. An annual event, ‘Make Your Motto’ challenges the public to share their words of encouragement and wisdom relating to mental health. The popularity of ‘Make Your Motto’...
Leaving Cert results advice

Leaving Cert results advice

It’s almost that time of year again when the wait is over and the dreams of young people are realised or dashed. The thoughts of college life become a reality. The wait for CAO offers begins in earnest and a massive collective sigh of relief for parents...
Festival-goers, mind your mental health!

Festival-goers, mind your mental health!

Are you preparing for your first festival or are you looking for some tips to better enjoy the experience? We put together some advice for festival-goers to mind their mental health during the festival season. St Patrick’s Mental Health Services CEO, Paul...
Cyber bullying

Cyber bullying

Cyber bullying has been defined as an aggressive, intentional act carried out by a group or individual using electronic forms of contact repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend him or herself

Holding on to the Holiday Feeling

Holding on to the Holiday Feeling

Holidays are good for us. We all need rest. A vacation provides the kind of break a body cries out for. Why doesn’t the holiday feeling last longer?

In My Room, by Jim Lucey

In My Room, by Jim Lucey

The room is a space for the mind, and a metaphor for the mind at the same time. Most of us will never find ourselves on a psychiatrist’s couch and yet our lives would be perilous if we did not make space for our mental health. In this space, we can hold up a mirror and acknowledge our search for meaning. By going to the room, life becomes more resourceful and rewarding. In showing up there, we show up for life itself.

Inside Out – A Psychological Insight

Inside Out – A Psychological Insight

One of the approaches that can be used to explain quite complex emotional concepts to children is metaphor. This is because something that is described in a ‘once removed’ way is far less threatening and therefore more prone to understanding. The use of metaphor in ‘Inside Out’ is fantastic.

Stay ahead of your child’s exam stress!

Stay ahead of your child’s exam stress!

No matter how much you prepare for exams, the pressure is firmly on and often the anxiety can be overwhelming for both students and their parents. However, according to St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services, anxiety is not always a bad thing. Colman Noctor, Child and...
9 Common myths about sleep

9 Common myths about sleep

The average human will spend one third of his or her life asleep, so that a person who manages to live to 90 years will have spent at least 30 years of that life in the state of altered consciousness we call sleeping. Something we devote so much time to, as much as...

Time to talk

The Walk in My Shoes phone line is part of the Support and Information department in St. Patrick’s Mental Health Service. It is a dedicated phone line for young people between the ages of 18-25 who need advice in relation to their own mental health or that of a...
Fear of Flying: Can’t Fly, Won’t Fly… Now Fly with CBT

Fear of Flying: Can’t Fly, Won’t Fly… Now Fly with CBT

Fear of flying (Aviophobia) is an anxiety based problem and can lead to extreme high levels of anxiety. This limits the travel a person can do, i.e. going on a holiday, or travel for work. One in four people on every flight has some level of fear. One in ten people...
“When music hits you, you feel no pain”

“When music hits you, you feel no pain”

A question I often ask new music and health students is ‘how would you describe music to an extra-terrestrial landing on earth for the first time demanding to know more about this strange phenomenon?’ Their answers vary greatly but often cluster somewhere around the...
Parents need to be aware & supportive during exam time

Parents need to be aware & supportive during exam time

Exam pressure is one of the top causes of anxiety in young people. Experts at St. Patrick’s University Hospital say that parents need to be aware & supportive during this time. Paul Gilligan, CEO at St. Patrick’s says “The exam period can be a...
International Children’s Day

International Children’s Day

Never before have parents taken their role as parents so seriously. They on average spend more quality time with their children than their own parents or grandparents spent with their children. They are more aware than previous generations of parents of keeping their...

Surviving the last few weeks of the Leaving Cert run in…

“It’s nearly here…” that sentence will resonate with some students as the positive prospect that they will soon have this arduous process of hard work, tension and build up finally out of their lives. For others, this sentence will send a sense of dread...
Stress and the College Student

Stress and the College Student

Multiple deadlines, midterms, and projects – it’s part of college life. But add in a part-time job, social activities and loans, and it’s no wonder so many undergraduates are stressed out. Stress Stats • 22: The average age when a person will experience anxiety for...

No Diet Day 2016

International Diet Day is dedicated to promoting a healthy life style and raising awareness of the potential dangers of dieting and the unlikelihood of success. There are numerous fad diets out there claiming rapid and sustainable weight loss, however we often need to...

Occupational Stress – what it is and how to deal with it

Today is World Day for Safety and Health at Work What do we mean by stress? There are many useful definitions that describe in detail what stress is and what occupational stress means. A scientific definition could be that stress is one’s reactions to life’s events:...

International Association of Youth Mental Health Conference

The Youth Empowerment Service [YES] members share their experiences at the 2015 International Association of Youth Mental Health [IAYMH] Conference, Montreal. The IAYMH conference is an international youth mental health conference and the theme for 2015 was...
Take a selfie, mind your selfie

Take a selfie, mind your selfie

Ireland’s A-List bloggers take part in #MindYourSelfie day, Friday 8th April to support Walk in My Shoes awareness campaign Dublin, 5th April 2016; U2’s Adam Clayton, along with almost 30 of Ireland’s A-List bloggers and celebrities, will be sharing their selfies on...

Deliberate Self-Harm or Non-Suicidal Self-Injury.

Listen to Prof. Jim Lucey on Today with Sean O’Rourke 16/03/2016 Why an assessment could make all the difference Deliberate self-injury is a very common behaviour. In fact it is so common that it has become the commonest reason people attend an emergency...
Happiness is relative to expectations

Happiness is relative to expectations

In today’s world our expectations are being increased and increased on a daily basis as we are promised things that are bigger, faster and easier to attain. Unfortunately sometimes our reality lags considerably behind this ‘ideal’ and therefore our...
Women and Mental Health

Women and Mental Health

International Women’s Day, Brain Awareness week, 8 March It is an undeniable fact that women are four times more likely than men to suffer from stress-related mental health disorders. By contrast, the major clinical disorders of mental health afflict women with the...
Mindfulness for the modern mother

Mindfulness for the modern mother

Busy mums can benefit from being mindful this Mother’s Day This weekend, mammies across Ireland will be honoured with breakfast in bed, flowers, chocolates, and the promise of a chore-free day. However, as demands of motherhood become more complex in a modern society,...
Body Shame to Body Compassion

Body Shame to Body Compassion

The human body, at peace with itself, is more precious than the rarest gem. Cherish your body; it is yours this one time only. The human form is won with difficulty, it is easy to lose. All worldly things are brief, like lightning in the sky; this life you must know...
Movie Matters – Mental Health Matters

Movie Matters – Mental Health Matters

2015 was a record year for St Patrick’s Mental Health Services “Frame of Mind” Short Film Competition, having received over 50 submissions from filmmakers who were asked to produce a short film they believe depicts the importance of positive mental health. The...

Addiction to the Internet– A Warning for Parents

Traditionally, we understand addiction to mean chemical dependence or psychological dependence on a substance or activity. However perhaps it is better to use the term ‘problematic misuse’ to understand our reliance on internet and similar activities. What defines...

How can we become more mentally resilient in 2016?

Listen to Prof. Jim Lucey on RTE Radio 1 with Sean O’Rourke 04/01/2016 (Podcast Recording) This year we are celebrating the first one hundred years since the proclamation of our independence. It’s timely to ponder our ambitions for the next phase of our history....

A mental health Helpline for 18 – 25 year olds

“Christmas can be a lonely time of the year. If you’re feeling down, call us. We are experienced mental health professionals and we can help.” St. Patrick’s ‘Walk in My Shoes’ Initiative has launched a facebook promotional campaign for its young adult helpline...

Answering the unanswerable, children’s questions about Paris Attacks

Listen to Colman Noctor on Today with Sean O’Rourke RTÉ Radio 1 “Talking to Children about Terrorism” 25/11/2015 ‘Why did those men shoot those people?’ ‘How do I explain to my children when they ask me questions about the events in Paris last week?’...
Mind Your Mental Health As The Christmas Countdown Begins

Mind Your Mental Health As The Christmas Countdown Begins

The carols are singing out on TV and radio adverts, decorations are appearing in shop windows, and the must-have gifts for 2015 are lining the shelves. Yes, the countdown to Christmas is well and truly on. For many, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year,...

Emotional Eating – Do we eat to live or live to eat?

Prof. Jim Lucey on RTE Radio 1 with Sean O’Rourke 27/10/2015 Do you tend to overeat? Are you inclined to eat more when you are stressed, or angry or lonely? Does eating help you relax and cope with difficult times? If your answer to any of these questions is...

World Mental Health Day 2015

Today is World Mental Health Day 2015. One small step can make a huge difference. Take your first step by making a call- Speak to a mental health professional today. Get our downloadable free mental health packs here....

New Mental Health Helpline for Young Adults launched

“If I hadn’t called a helpline when I needed it most, things could have been very different” Bressie launches Walk in My Shoes Helpline and urges young people to TAKE THE FIRST STEP, PICK UP THE PHONE! St Patrick’s Mental Health Services are delighted to...

10 warning signs of teenage depression

Teenage Depression is a difficult condition to identify as it may exhibit similar signs to normal teenage melancholia and moodiness. However depression is a very serious condition that can have drastic effects on a teenagers developing personality and can lead to...

Coping with disappointment and failure

Listen to Prof. Jim Lucey on Today with Sean O’Rourke 26/08/2015  Disappointing events do not cause depression. Instead depression may be caused by the way we perceive our disappointments. In the past it was believed that depressed people had more negative...
Parenting: The impact of discipline on emotional health

Parenting: The impact of discipline on emotional health

While Summer time offers an opportunity for parents and children to spend more time together doing enjoyable activities it can also be a stressful time for parents. The greatest source of this stress can be discipline issues which often arise more during the Summer...

Innovative Mental Health Guide for Carers launched

St Patrick’s Mental Health Services are delighted to announce the launch of a new Information Guide which is the first of its kind in Ireland, for carers and supporters of those with mental health difficulties. Speaking at the launch at St. Patrick’s University...

Holding on to the Holiday Feeling

Listen to Today with Sean O’Rourke RTE Radio 1 Wednesday 15th. July 2015 here.  Dr Jim Lucey MD PhD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at TCD and Medical Director at St. Patricks Mental Health Services Holidays are good for us. We all need rest. A vacation...

Stay ahead of your child’s exam stress!

Students across the country have started their exams. No matter how much preparation has gone into the last few months, the pressure is firmly on and often the anxiety can be overwhelming for both students and their parents. However, according to St. Patrick’s Mental...

7 Top Tips for Safer Internet Day 2015

St. Patrick’s offers the following tips for parents on child internet safety; 1. Speak to you child about internet safety- Talk about the risks associated with the internet 2. Encourage your child to be careful when visiting sites 3. Report online material you may...