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mental health support

I love a good cry every now and then. Sometimes all you need to do is sob to your heart's content when life gets a little overwhelming.

We may feel embarrassed or silly when we cry but fear not my friends, a study has found that crying is actually good for you.

Researchers in Japan confirmed that crying can actually make you happier. The team of researchers explained that crying can help reduce stress meaning you live a happier and calmer life.

Basically, crying is an act of self-defence against accumulating stresses.

“The act of crying is more effective than laughing or sleeping in reducing stress. If you cry once a week, you can live a stress-free life," said Hidefumi Yoshida told the Japan Times.

Hidefumi Yoshida believes watching heart wrenching movies, listening to emotional songs or reading harrowing books can help make you feel better, even when you’re a blubbering, snotty nosed wreck.

So, next time you’re having a bad day fetch the tissues, watch The Fault In Our Stars and just let the tears roll.

Having a cry is good for the soul so don’t be afraid to let the tears out after a bad day at work, after arguing with your bestie or when you're watching a tear-jerker at the cinema.

Trust me, holding back the tears is no good for you. I tried to do so in a very quiet cinema whilst watching A Star Is Born and ended up with a headache for the remainder of the day, so when you gotta cry, cry.

Don’t be ashamed about it. If scientists say it’s good for you then let the tears fall.


A new study has found that young women in Ireland have the highest levels of depression in all of Europe.

The study, which was conducted by Eurofound, revealed that 17 percent of women aged between 15 and 24-years-old are suffering from moderate to severe depression.

The current EU average is 9 percent.

Key factors leading to these concerning numbers include homelessness, eating disorders, cyberbullying and Ireland’s economic crisis.

The study states: “Young women are more likely to find themselves not in employment, education or training, and are significantly more likely to suffer depressive symptoms than young men."

The study also found that young women are more likely to internalise traumatic events and personal issues which is a major cause of depression. This can also lead to eating disorders and self-harm.

It is important to remember that there is help out there if you’re struggling with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or anorexia. There is never any shame in admitting that something is wrong. Seeking help from a doctor, counsellor or other medical professional is terrifying but internalising your problems will only make you feel worse.

See below for a list of mental health helplines in Ireland:



116 123 

Aware (Depression & Bi-Polar Disorder)


1800 80 48 48


Pieta House 


1800 247 247 (National Suicide Helpline)

01 623 5606

Grow (Mental Health Support and Recovery)


1890 474 474



1890 200 444



Opening up about your mental health struggles is a major step for anyone, famous or not. Telling your mum that you have depression or confiding in a friend about your battle with bipolar disorder takes a lot of strength. It is a massive step that shouldn’t be tainted by stigma or judgement.

Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington recently disclosed, via his representative, that he was spending some time at a wellness retreat to help cope with his personal issues.

When news broke that the actor, who plays courageous and noble Jon Snow, was seeking help for his mental health struggles tabloids were quick to shame him.

Image result for Kit Harington smile

The headlines made it seem like getting help for your mental health issues is shameful, dirty and something we shouldn’t do.

Surely we should be championing the fact that one of TV’s biggest stars is getting help for issues that darkened his life.

As author Matt Haig said, “Rehab is such a negative word. Thanks to pop culture. Thanks to the media. Going to rehab is a positive thing. It is the moment someone recognises their problem and plans to recover from it. It's a brave, wonderful, healing thing, and no-one should be stigmatised for it.”


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Kit should be commended and respected for his decision to go on this wellness retreat because anyone who has gone through similar issues knows all too well that reaching out and saying ‘I need help’ is one of the biggest hurdles you have to overcome on this journey.

His name shouldn’t be splashed across headlines with the word 'rehab' in capital letters just to dramatise the story. Stories about previous low moments in his life shouldn’t resurface at a time when he is clearly struggling mentally.

He should be allowed recover in peace because regardless of his fame, his roles and his status, he is just a human. A human who was struggling and needed help.

Men are so often told to be strong and to man up, it's no wonder they are the ones who find it harder to cope with mental health problems. Men account for eight out of ten suicides here in Ireland.

They are suffering in silence, denying themselves the right to be treated and fight this heavy battle alone because of stigma, fear and a pathetic lack of support by both the Government, the media and the public.

We have made great strides in recent years, especially with the help of the See Change campaign. Wearing the green ribbon on your jacket may help people feel less alone, but it can only do so much.

Leo Varadkar and co. can wear a green ribbon upon their expensive suit jackets but what they really need to do is invest in mental health support. Show the public, show Ireland’s men that there is help out there, suicide isn’t your only option and that things can get better with the right help.

We shouldn’t look upon Kit Harington with pity, but with pride. He found the strength to seek help and proved to men that they don't need to 'man up' because there is no shame in your suffering.

If you or anyone you know are struggling with mental health issues, please call Samaritans on 116 123.

You can donate to Pieta House here

Support the See Change campaign here.


Pieta and Electric Ireland recently unveiled the ‘Wall of Hope’ – a public work of art created to officially launch Darkness into Light 2019 – the major charity fundraiser that is expected to attract over 250,000 participants this May 11, 2019.

In 2018, Darkness into Light was hosted in over 200 venues across 19 countries and 5 continents. This year, Pieta and Electric Ireland have increased capacity, with additional volunteers and over a quarter of a million people are expected to walk, from darkness into light, on May 11 at 4:15 am. Registration for the walk is now open at www.darknessintolight.ie.

About the Wall of Hope

Located on Dublin’s Camden Row, The Wall of Hope is a larger-than-life mural, created by Subset, a group of artists responsible for some of Ireland’s most provocative street art. The work signifies the Hope that Darkness Into Light spreads across the globe every year. Using #DIL2019 and #ThePowerOfHope, Pieta are encouraging people to share their messages of Hope in the lead up to the walk on Saturday 11 May and beyond.


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About Darkness Into Light

Darkness into Light is organised by Pieta and proudly supported by Electric Ireland since 2013. It is a global movement dedicated to ending suicide and supporting those who engage in self-harm. By walking from Darkness Into Light, participants play an important role in removing the stigma around suicide and self-harm as well as raising vital funds to fight suicide.

The unique event is symbolic of the journey from despair to hope. It begins, in darkness, at 4.15am and continues for 5 kilometers through to dawn. Funds raised from Darkness Into Light help keep Pieta’s counselling services free of charge and freely accessible to those in suicidal crisis, people who engage in self-harm, and to those bereaved by suicide; last year, participants  raised a massive €6 million through the event.


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Pieta has supported over 40,000 people with face to face therapy. Since opening its doors 13 years ago, Pieta has heard painful truths from thousands of people who have come to the organisation at the point of suicidal crisis or actively engaging in self-harm. In 2017, one person a day died by suicide in Ireland and worldwide close to 800,000 people die by suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds.

Darkness Into Light is vital for fundraising, for raising awareness and for bringing people together in a spirit of solidarity, comfort and hope. To find your nearest venue and for registration, visit  www.darknessintolight.ie


Queer Eye fans will agree that Karamo Brown is a beacon of positivity. His empowering words and heartfelt advice has touched many contestants on the beloved Netflix show.

Karamo has encouraged followers to seek help for mental health issues after revealing he attempted suicide 12 years ago.

He opened up about his struggles in a moving Instagram post: “Today in 2006 I was sitting on my couch alone, attempting to commit suicide.”


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The activist said he believed life was over for him, however with the support of his friends he sought out help: “I got mental health support and worked each day to believe again.”

He reminded people that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. “Here I am happy and healthy. I made it and If you’re going through something you can make it too!”

The lifestyle coach was showered with love and support when he opened up about his personal struggles.


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Fans praised him for his strength and courage. Using his public platform to raise awareness about suicide and mental health will make a huge difference.

“As a mental health professional I believe we all need to make our mental health a priority,” the dad stressed.

Karamo told those struggling to never give up, no matter what: “Whether you’re sad, depressed or suicidal like I was… you can make it through.”


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He added: “There is a better day around the corner with support.”

Discussing such a personal and harrowing struggle with the public takes a lot of courage. Karamo’s story is bound to touch many people across the globe. Knowing you’re not alone in this battle can be one of the most reassuring things for those with mental illnesses.

We are so in awe of Karamo’s honesty. Here’s to breaking the stigma surrounding mental health.

Contact Samaritans on 116 123 if you're suffering from mental health issues or feeling suicidal.