Our mental health is our most precious resource as it dictates how we feel about ourselves, who we are and can be in this world. This might seem an exaggeration for some but I am sure you will agree that if you feel good about yourself nothing will stand in the way of you reaching for your dreams and living a fuller life.
The conversation around mental health in Ireland is still in its infancy and very much reactive to the increase in suicide and the amount of people struggling with depression, anxiety and stress. The conversation must evolve from being illness focused to being more proactive about managing our mental health. Why wait to take care of your mental health only when you are depressed, anxious or stressed? When it comes to our health in general we have learned that a preventative approach is far more beneficial than a curative one.
The question is – how do we take care of our mental health? We know that exercising, eating healthy and getting adequate sleep helps. However, arguably the most important way to take care of our mental health is becoming self-aware. This is a concept that is not spoken about enough. Being self-aware is looking inwards and asking yourself those important questions – “who am I?”, “how do I feel about myself?”, “who do I want to be in this world?” and most importantly “have I become the person I wanted to be?”
I have been on my own personal mental health journey since I walked through the doors of One in Four in 2008. Until then I felt unhappy, unfulfilled and deeply unsatisfied but I put it off for as I long as I could as I was petrified of looking inward as I knew it was not going to be pretty.
“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength.” ~ August Wilson
I knew the only way I could make my “angels sing” was by confronting my past and my trauma. It’s not a coincidence that I entered the world of media at exactly the same time I became interested in self-awareness as for the first time in my life not only did I ask myself what I wanted but I began listening to myself.
The last 5 years of my life have been transformational. I am happy and content in my personal life, have a successful career in media, actor in the See Change production of “Box of Frogs” and a passionate personal development trainer. I know in my heart that none of this would have come about if I hadn’t taken the brave step to become self-aware.
I have learned from my own experience that it is in a place of deep self-awareness where our own human potential is unlocked and we then start longing to serve the world.
It is from this place that I now embark on my next project:
Inspiring change in self and society
Personal Development, Psychotherapy and Counselling
Mental health and personal development have been two areas I have been fascinated with since I began my own journey of self-discovery. It has been a long standing dream of mine to create a space which provides support to those who are just beginning the questioning process and are curious of the possibilities which this may bring.
Interestingly, it was my love for all things mental health related which led me to meet my partner and fiancée, Anne Marie, as we met in a mental health retreat in Wicklow in 2010. Anne Marie, a qualified psychotherapist and counsellor set up Insight Matters, psychotherapy and counselling service in 2011. However, for as long as we have known each other we have been passionate about helping people to care about their mental health and supporting their personal development. So it is only fitting that her successful practice is now expanding to encompass the area of personal development and we are now officially joining forces!
Through Insight Matters we hope to create a space and a community of people who are on the threshold of turning away from dogma, crave to embrace their true identity, unlock their human potential and serve the world.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” Marianne Williamson
Anne Marie and I invite you to find out more about Insight Matters
What is mental health?
A persons mental health is paramount to their ability to achieve personal wellbeing, form relationships and integrate into society. At some point in our lives we will all experience mental health difficulties.
However, the reality is that this is still a taboo subject, not just in Ireland but in the entire world and it is the stigma attached to mental health that stops so many from seeking help when they need it the most. Why do we treat our mental health differently to the way we treat our physical health? Why is it that we never hesitate to go to a GP if we are concerned about our physical health but contacting a therapist or counsellor to care for our mental health never crosses our minds – unless we have actually come to breaking point.
Our mental health is our most precious resource as it enables us to reach our full potential as human beings. Quite simply, our mental health is how we feel about ourselves.
Social Justice and Mental Health Broadcaster
Dil has been interested in the area of mental health since she went through her own journey of self-discovery. Since then mental health is a topic that Dil will talk about to anyone that will listen to her as a broadcaster, trainer and as someone who has a lived experience of struggling with her mental health. Through her work, Dil hopes to raise awareness about mental health as a human rights issue here in Ireland and break down stigma one conversation at a time.
Taking care of your mental health on Global Village on Newstalk 106 108
In an effort to encourge people to talk openly about mental health Dil is joined by Caroline McGuigan on Global Village every other week. Caroline is a qualified psychotherapist, founder and CEO of Suicide or Survive and she has experience of personally attempting suicide and experiencing the limited services available. She spent 8 years as a user of the psychiatric services, leaving her with an in-depth knowledge of the medical model, how and why a person is diagnosed and the treatment they may receive in Ireland. She received a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Level 1 Award in 2006, and a Level 2 Award in 2007. Caroline was part of a very powerful documentary “I See a Darkness.” Listen back to Take care of your mental health on Global Village.
Psychotherapy, Counselling and Personal Development
There are many ways to take care of your mental health. In Dil’s own experience she found that therapy was an effective method of “talking through” what was holding her back from living her life to the full. However, going to a therapist can be very intimidating at first as there is little awareness of the types, approaches and methods used. Since 2012, Dil has been delivering Personal Development and Life Skills courses through Insight Matters.
Mental Health Ambassador
For as long as Dil can remember she didn’t feel good enough and experienced depression, anxiety and low self-esteem due to the unstable environment she grew up in and also because of her experience of sexual abuse as a teenager.
She spent all her energy pretending she was fine and happy but never let on to her friends and loved ones how much she was struggling inside her head, mainly because she was afraid of how they would react as she knew many wouldn’t understand. Turns out this is stigma.
Thankfully, she got help, she started thereapy with One in Four in 2008 and after years of working on herself she feels so much better about who she is in this world. Becoming self-aware has helped her so much in shedding the layers of inhibitions, limitations and self-doubt she has carried with her for so many years.
Through Dil’s work she hopes to encourage others who are struggling with their mental health or their experience of sexual abuse to get help and break down stigma one conversation at a time.