Eating disorders, depression and anxiety, addiction, schizophrenia and psychosis are among some of the most poorly understood and highly stigmatised mental health difficulties, both in Ireland and across the globe. For anyone experiencing mental health difficulties, the stigma associated with such difficulties can be a barrier to seeking help and Walk in My Shoes, through its #StillJustMe advocacy campaign, aims to help break down these barriers and shine a light on some of the most prevalent mental health issues facing Irish society.
A series of short films and blog articles written by mental experts and those with lived experience of mental health difficulties, have been produced as part of the #StillJustMe campaign as a way of bringing some of the most poorly understood and stigmatised mental health problems to the fore. Divided into four phases, each short film from the anti-stigma campaign focuses on a different mental health issue; eating disorders, depression and anxiety, addiction, schizophrenia and psychosis.
#StillJustMe aims to show anyone who might be experiencing mental health difficulties that they are not alone and despite the stigma, there are supports available to them and recovery is always possible.
Many of us who look in the mirror don’t like what looks back at us. We moan we have too many wrinkles, too many grey hairs, we are too short or too tall, the list goes on and on. We are often highly critical of ourselves both physically and mentally. Instead of being...read more
Stigma is a double-headed beast, existing in two forms as public and self-stigma. Engagement with negative attitudes (prejudice) and/or adverse behaviour (discrimination) is known as public stigma. Self-stigma is how the individual sees their own mental health from a...read more
The journey of transformation to a recovery, human rights-based, international leader in mental health care delivery
Ill mental health is the greatest health challenge the world faces. At any given time, 10% of the adult population across the world experience a mental or behavioural problem. Globally, more than 300 million people suffer from depression - the leading cause of...read more
On the birthday of Lucia Joyce, James Joyce’s daughter who experienced schizophrenia, we have launched the next stage of our #StillJustMe campaign focussing on psychosis.
Psychosis is a distressing difficulty in which thoughts and emotions make it hard to determine what is reality and what is not
Having a psychotic illness has impacted every single part of my life in some way or another. Although more children are now being diagnosed with and treated for Schizophrenia, it is considered to be rare in childhood. When I was a child, it was pretty much unheard of....read more
You don’t see a tsunami far out at sea What is Psychosis? This is what it means to me and here is my personal journey. It is Saturday morning, June 3rd 2006. I am looking forward to attending a friend’s wedding with my wife at the time. It is a welcome distraction...read more
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...read more
On International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2017, we launch part 3 of our #StillJustMe series, focusing on Substance Use Disorders, Stigma and Recovery. Recovery is possible one step at a time, creating the opportunity to break free from the chains of that substance to a new version of you.
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...read more
For centuries people believed that substance abuse was a moral problem, that a person made the choice to continue using a particular substance. It was believed that such a person had weak willpower and low moral strength, the blame was exclusively with them. This...read more
"Go on have the one it won’t hurt you." "God you are so boring." "Will I throw in a vodka into that diet coke when no one is looking?" This is mild compared to some of the so called ‘banter’ that an addict has to put up with. The stigma that goes with being a...read more
For World Health Day, part 2 of the #StillJustMe series focuses on Depression. Depression affects 1 in 10 people in Ireland.
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...read more
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...read more
It’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and in the first episode of our new Walk in My Shoes podcast series, Dr Clare O’Toole, Consultant Psychiatrist with responsibility for the Adult Eating Disorder Service at St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, shares her expertise on the causes of eating disorder, the treatments available and how best to support someone living with a disorder.read more
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...read more
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...read more
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...read more
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...read more