Education and Awareness Around Mental Health Can be Life-Saving, says Leading Clinical Psychologist
On Friday, September 28 Clonmel-based practice Inform Psychological Services marked its fifth anniversary with a free event, titled “The Inside Track on Mental Health”, in The Main Guard, Clonmel, Co Tipperary. The event was described as a “cradle to the grave look at mental health.”
Guest speakers at the event were Dr. Maeve Martin, Founder and Clinical Director, Ms. Lindsay Fredman, Clinical Psychologist, Ms. Hilda Ryan, Personal and Professional Life Coach, Ms. Josephine Quinlan, Counselling Psychotherapist, and Dr. Ann Moriarty, Neuropsychologist, all from Inform Psychological Services. They covered a range of topics, including psychological interventions for young people and adolescents, coaching, mindfulness and self-compassion, ageing, dementia and memory.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Maeve Martin said, “I am often asked “What causes mental illness?” or “How can I prevent mental illness”. While anyone at any stage in their lives can be susceptible to any illness – and mental illness is no exception – research has shown that people can alleviate risk factors, such as stress, with regular exercise and a nutritious diet. Education and awareness around mental health can be life-saving. Everyone should have therapy in their lives, in the same way they have dentists. I believe wellness and mindfulness programmes should be integrated into school curriculums and workplaces. It’s never too early to start educating our society about mental health – in my practice almost half of our clients are between the ages of 13 and 24 years, some even as young as three. Contributors to increases in anxiety and depression in young people are social media and alcohol, amongst other factors. There is a misconception in society that people, especially children, should be shielded from negativity, but awareness is the most powerful deterrent of mental illness.”
Asked what advice she would give to people who have a mental illness or their families seeking help, Dr Martin continued, “The first official stop is usually through GPs in primary care. Some clinics have their own access to psychologist and mental health nurses or counsellors on site. You don’t have to go through your GP to come to us. More serious cases are referred to adult mental health services in the HSE and private facilities, such as St Patrick’s Mental Health Services or St. John of God Hospital and child and adolescent mental health services. There are also private clinics, such as Inform Psychological Services and voluntary agencies, such as Aware and Jigsaw.”
Inform Psychological Services is based in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, and offers a variety of psychological assessments and therapeutic services for children, adolescents and adults. Clinical psychology reports, psycho-educational reports and medico-legal reports are provided for clients of all ages. The practice has a team of one psychotherapist, three clinical psychologists, a personal and professional life coach, and two office managers.