#TooManyLives aims to get people talking about mental health

#TooManyLives aims to get people talking about mental health
Daniel O'Donnell features in a new Cork mental health campaign video, #TooManyLives

A new mental health campaign featuring the likes of Love/Hate actor John Connors and Daniel O’Donnell is encouraging people to talk about their mental health, particularly around Christmas time. 

The new campaign is the brainchild of Clonmel native, Cathal O’Reilly who told The Echo.

"People are being let down by mental health services in Ireland every day. 

"A culture has developed in Ireland of brushing things under the carpet and hoping they go away and this is definitely the case with mental health in this country. 

"Something has to change and we hope that this campaign will encourage people to have a conversation around mental health and suicide in Ireland."

Cathal, who has struggled with his own mental health issues says the country is not doing enough to support people: 

"This is supposed to be a first world EU country and the conditions of some psychiatric units are appalling. 

"This is how we’re treating people at their most vulnerable," he said.

Produced by Deep Red Productions on MacCurtain Street and largely filmed in Mahon Community Centre the #TooManyLives campaign video features John Connors who speaks about his own father's suicide and the epidemic the country is now facing. 

"We’re good at talking about talking about mental health, but we’re not actually talking about it," Connors says in the video.

Daniel O’Donnell also lends his support to the new campaign, featuring in the video alongside the hashtag.

Poignantly, the video includes the harrowing statistic that 352 people lost their lives to suicide last year and includes the message: 

"This Christmas, please don’t stay silent in your struggle. 

"Please talk to someone you trust."

On this, Cathal notes that:

"Silence is a killer. 

"The biggest challenge people face is finding their voice in speaking about their mental health, and I know first hand how difficult it can be but we need to start talking and listening to others. 

"It brings people closer together when we open up, it reduces the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide and it ultimately saves lives."

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