Cork-based psychotherapist, Dr Susan Lawlor has launched a new range of mental health services in Cork to continue the legacy of her late brother.
Dr Susan Lawlor co-founded the mental health charity, State of Mind Ireland with her brother, Dr Martin Lawlor in 2013, with the aim to improve mental health, wellbeing and the working life of sports players and sporting communities throughout Ireland.
The joint initiative with University College Cork (UCC), the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Centre of Recovery and Social Inclusion (CRSI) comprised State of Mind Ireland and the team who worked to improve mental health and wellbeing in the arena of sport.
However, the goal for Dr Susan Lawlor and her brother had always been to extend the programme, opening it up to other communities in Ireland and across the globe.
In December 2018, Dr Martin Lawlor died after being struck by a car in Cork City and now, his sister is determined to continue his legacy to raise awareness around mental health and provide support to those who need it.
“With the untimely passing of my brother, Dr Martin Lawlor, I decided to continue on his vision. I suppose it was really to stop the stigma surrounding mental health and most importantly, to bring dignity, respect and hope to those that need it the most," she said.
Dr Susan Lawlor will graduate from a Master’s in Psychotherapy and Counselling on Friday, which she completed in her brother’s honour.
“When Martin was killed, he was finishing off a Master’s Degree in psychotherapy and counselling. I completed it in honour of us both," she said.
Dr Lawlor's graduation coincides with the launch of the new services in Cork this month.
Following the passing of Dr Martin Lawlor, State of Mind Ireland has become dedicated to continuing his vision in stopping the stigma surrounding mental health through bringing dignity, respect and hope to those who need it most in communities.
“A key concept of what we do is to promote resilience and positive mental health and wellbeing," said Dr Susan Lawlor.
“The services which we have set of late are one of the first adult and child counselling, psychotherapy, psychological, psychiatric services. I suppose it’s the first of its kind in the field of private care for mental health."
“The service is for anybody looking for help and support or guidance who are dealing with any type of mental health condition,” she added.
The new services can be conducted on a face-to-face basis or online, with many people from across Ireland, Europe and even South Africa, currently availing of the State of Mind Ireland Services.
“With the Covid-19 restrictions, it really has hit every person, no one has escaped it and it is very important that no matter who you are or where you come from, there I help out there.
“There is somebody out there to help you,” added Dr Lawlor.