These are some questions that I think people may ask when visiting this website.
If there is any question not listed here, please send the question via any of the methods listed on the Contact page, and I will answer it (as best I can!) and add it to the list.
Q. Who are you?
A. You can learn more about me in the ‘About Me’ section. Briefly, I am a 28 year old Dublin girl who has suffered from mental health problems on and off for seven years. I am sick and tired of seeing constant news articles about our crumbling public mental health services, and I want to try and do something about it.
Q. When did you set up this website?
A. Last night (21.06.17) and early this morning (22.06.17) when levels of frustration were too high for me to get any sleep!
Q. Do you think this website could glorify suicide?
A. Honestly, no. I am very conscious of this issue, and will be careful in how I put up any stories that are sent in to me, in order not to look like we are glorifying those we have lost. The reason I am asking for information from people who have lost loved ones is so that we can put faces to the awful statistics of suicide, to try to help in reducing the number of people we lose in the future. I will be using the Media Guidelines for Reporting Suicide from the Samaritans (click here to view) as a reference whenever posting anything that is sent it to me. If you take a look at the ‘If You Have Lost a Loved One’, I have set out guidelines as to what type of information should be sent in. I will not be putting up any information as to how the person died, and will not use the specific date of death, so that it cannot be searched and matched up with any news stories. I hope you can see from my answer that I’ve thought about this a lot, and it is at the forefront of my mind.
Q. Don’t you think you are duplicating what other groups are trying to do?
A. As far as I can see, there is no other campaign that is being driven by general citizens of Ireland (I am happy to be corrected on this). Mental Health Reform had a grassroots group set up but, from looking online, I can’t find anything more recent than 2013 relating to this. I have been in touch with them to try and find out whether the group is still actually running, but have not received clarification as of yet. There are also advocacy groups out there who will speak on people’s behalf, but I can’t find anything that is citizen-driven, which I think is a necessity. I really do think that by putting names to the statistics and stories, we can embarrass the government into action.
Q. Do you have a political motivation?
A. To put it simply, no. I have no interest in becoming a politician. There are causes that I believe in and work towards on my own, but I have no interest in – or am affiliated with – any political party.
Q. Do you work for an organisation related to mental health?
A. Nope, I’m actually a Viking! I have worked for Viking Splash Tours on and off for the last 9 years, and am currently the Sales & Marketing Manager. I love my job, and haven’t been as happy in a position as I am now for a long time. I have no inclination to move from my current position into anything related to mental health, I just want to use the skills that I have and my own story to further the cause in my spare time.
Q. What else have you done with regard to mental health?
A. I’ve tipped away at a few things – I’ve written five articles for TheJournal.ie. I’ve started setting up a mental health scheme in my workplace. I started a website last year to blog about mental health, but shut it down after I didn’t have enough regular content. I’m currently writing a book about my experiences with mental health, but it might be a while before that becomes real! I am open to lots of things when it comes to furthering this cause, it’s just so hard to figure out what can be effective. I’m hoping that this will be.
Q. Do you really think this will have any impact?
A. I don’t know yet, it’s too early to tell! I really hope so though. I’m a realist, I know that we’re not going to be able to ‘save everyone’. But if we can put pressure on our government to make substantial changes – soon – to our mental health services, perhaps we can help a few people who we may otherwise have lost. That’s good enough, right?
Q. Where are the images on this website from?
A. Unless otherwise specified, all images are either my own, or from Pixabay.com, a free photo site.