Wellbeing, Stigma, Positive mental health

12 October, 2020

Meet our new ambassador: Dublin GAA all-star, Nicole Owens

Experiencing mental health challenges

Nicole Owens is a Dublin Senior Ladies GAA player and All Star award winner - and we are very proud to welcome her as an ambassador for Walk in My Shoes (WIMS).

Experiencing mental health challenges

Nicole is passionate about raising awareness and educating young people about mental health and wellbeing. She is an advocate for those living with mental health difficulties, having experienced mental health challenges in her own life. 

As a young person, Nicole found it difficult to express her feelings of low moods, her insecurity and her sexuality with her friends and family. During her college years, her low moods became more frequent, but she found it difficult to share these feelings.

Nicole eventually opened up to her mother who had to collect her from college when she began crying during a lecture and couldn’t stop. She received great support from her mother and her doctor. Her treatment worked to improve her mood; however, looking back, she felt that she would have benefited further from learning the importance of opening up, creating a support network and being aware of the tools that would help manage her wellbeing.

Her mental health deteriorated a number of years later, following a period of work and personal stress. Following this, she took some time out to focus on recovery and therapy. Through this, she became more aware of the tools that she could use throughout her life that would allow her to manage her wellbeing, such as exercise, leaning on friends and teammates, and taking some time to herself when she needs it. 

She also used this time in her life to speak openly to those around her about her mental health challenges, and now stands as an advocate for sharing and having open conversations about mental health. 

Becoming an ambassador

Becoming an ambassador

As a WIMS ambassador, Nicole believes that providing resources to teachers and students to educate and raise awareness about wellbeing is key.

Coming on board in the week of World Mental Health Day, Nicole said: “I am delighted to be working with WIMS and to be part of an initiative that is dedicated and committed to raising awareness and educating young people about mental health and wellbeing and eradicating stigma. The resources and tools that WIMS have developed for teachers and students to promote a culture where young people can talk about their feelings is something I would have benefitted from when I was in school."

"Through my own mental health journey, I know the value of having the skills needed to manage your own wellbeing, and the importance of having open conversations about mental health, knowing how to both give and receive support.”


Taking part in WIMS Live

Taking part in WIMS Live

Nicole took part in a number of events and activities as part of our WIMS Live programme during the week of 5-10 October.

Watch her interview with RTÉ 2fm's Eoghan McDermott during our Science of Mental Health event, or see her talk about her mental health journey on Ireland AM following her announcement as our ambassador.

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Wellbeing strategies for schools