Great Dream

I was sent an email about a website about living a happy life. Here is a picture from that website:

Check out the website here.

Photo of the day. :)

Ahh Spanish in T.Y, I wish leaving cert Spanish was that easy!!

You have to shift a lot of frogs!!

I know what your thinking has Siobhán lost it completely ? No I haven't let me explain what i mean about frogs.The other day received an email from one of my readers about a book she was writing which is about mental health and stigma etc Her book s called You have to shift a lot of frogs so I didn't just pick random words and put them as a title there is reason behind it.

The email that I got said the following:

"I recently just stumbled across your blog, and I want to commend you in your great outlook on life, but more importantly...bringing light to the mental health stigma in Ireland. I'm not Irish, but American...and I lived there for almost a year. In that small time frame  I was able to see that this was definitely an issue. I'd seen and heard of many young men committing suicide because they felt helpless and didn't have any support. I've also seen people suffering from issues such as depression and bipolar disorder, but afraid to speak openly about it, or even worse...get professional help! It really should be something that people are able to at least speak about enough to get them the help that they need. In America, it seems like everyone self diagnoses themselves with needing a therapist. In Ireland, quite the opposite! That being said, I am currently in the process of publishing a book I wrote about my time in Ireland, where I speak about the stigma, among  other things of course! It's called You Have To Shift A Lot Of Frogs"

After getting that email I was shocked at the fact that one person living in Ireland for only a year was able to see how we as a society do not speak about mental health and how it is still a huge taboo subject in Irish society. That being said there are many amazing organisations around the country working and supporting those with mental illness or raising awareness or fighting stigma but still more can be done.

The work that people are doing is amazing and without them we would not be able to talk about mental health at all but you see the thing is people are to ignorant to realize that we need to talk abut mental health. We need to accept  mental health as real and we need to TALK. I know I have been talking about how important it is to talk in my last few posits but I cant stress it enough how important it is to talk. And its not just about talking when you are feeling low it is good to talk about how you are feeling in general to ensure that you are in the habit of talking. This will allow you to find t a bit easier to talk about things when you are feeling down.

I am very interested in reading this book and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy.I will certainly do a review of the book once I have finished reading it and I would encourage many of you to read it also and see what you think. I am sure we are in for an amazing read in the near future, who knows it might even inspire you to start writing.

Photo of the day. :)


No mater where you are theses days you always seem to hear about another person young or old taking their won life due to bullying. No matter who you are it is not right to bully. The bullies themselves can often have things going on in their own life's that drive them to bully but that doesn't make it ok, nothing makes it ok. Just the other day I heard of another young person  taking their own life due to bullying in a town close to mine and it brought up a lot of memories and thoughts. I'm not going to write a big long post giving out about bullies and what they are doing to people but I am going to write a bit about people taking their own life's and bullying in general. 
I am one of the lucky one in society. 

From reading my blog many of you know that I have mental health issues and I have gone through the long process of help. Yes my recovery is long but that's just it, my recovery. I reached out for help and that is what I got. There is no quick fix for mental illness which is why my recovery has been so long and is still going to be long into the future. That's why people reefer to it as the road to recovery. No matter how long it take to get "better" if you like it is much better than suffering in silence. I attempted suicide a number of times, I use to self harm, I have depression, OCD and Anxiety but I am working thought these. I may not be better but one thing that I have learned throughout my 18 years of life is that a problem shared is a problem halved. It is much better working through a long road to recovery than never getting to the beginning of the road to recovery. All you have to do to get on that road to recover is Talk, Something so simple but it has the ability to save lives!!

My brother said something today that I think really sums everything up about suicide, mental health, bulling and society in general. 

" Everyday people lose the battle with mental health issues and take their life, which could be complete avoided if they just talked. Its not their fault, its the society that we live in, a society that ignores mental health, a place where people don't understand its importance and think that it isn't important. Without our mental health in good order we are not equipped to take on the everyday battles in our life. Its so important and we need to have the realize that it cannot be ignored and that we need to support one another and talk, we need to realize that by accepting and talking about mental health we will save life's! I am so proud of this initiative and am so extremely proud of the people behind it, it takes courage and strength to stand up and talk about this, without people like this our society would be a lot harder to live in!just always remember when your feeling down, Or  you need help there will always be someone there to help you! I know how important it is to talk about what's going on with people, and I had to learn it the hard way, but let's all just try end this pointless tragic loss of life. Its so simple just don't forget to talk, and always remember there is support out there for you! Its such a small thing but it will help save life's, and will make society such a better place to live in."

I'm not sure if I can say anything else on this matter as I think Paul said it all there. We will never get rid of bullying but we can reduce it, we cant get rid of mental illness but we can support those who are suffering and we can lend a hand to those suffering in silence, we can get rid of suicide but if we can reduce the numbers if we just TALK!! TALKING is really the key to good mental health and t s time we became more aware of mental health.

I am not ashamed of who I am and I am not ashamed of the fact that I have a mental illness. I will stand up and speak out about my experiences with only one aim which s to show people that by talking things will get better and that there is help out there for you. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you have a mental illness, its the same as any other illness. Just because you cant see it doesn't mean its not real.

Photo of the day. :)

The day we got Lilo :)

Guest Post.

Here is a post from a very close friend of mine sharing her experience of ill mental health. It took a lot of courage to write this and I think that she deserves a lot of credit for her courage.  She highlights some very important facts in this piece so please read carefully.

Hey my name is Nicola and I have a mental illness.

Mental illness is the same as a physical illness except it’s to do with the mind! It could happen to anyone of us at any stage of our life's…..For whatever reason it just happened to happen to Siobhan and me at such a young age but we did not ask for it to happen to us. I cannot change that I have this illness but I accept it now and I’m ok with it. It’s part of who I am. I’m not ashamed to say I suffer with a mental illness. It does not change who you are as a person it changes your thoughts and sometimes your actions depending on your situation but this can all be controlled by therapy and help. here are a lot of people suffering from mental health problems and young  people find it particularly hard because they find it hard to take that first step to reach out for help BUT it is worth it in the long run!

I am a recovering self-harmer. I am much better then how I was when I first started self-harming. I have my good and bad days. It’s hard having scars but they will fade in time and hay there’s always a solution to the problem! Only recently I learned by telling other people to have things to plan and look forward to is a good thing and that that is something you would be excited for and looking too do like a trip to the cinema or some Nandos(I love Nandos)but this has really worked for me planning things. People have told me to plan things before but I never listened but it’s great! I would
recommend trying it

I was admitted to a few different psychiatrist hospitals(a few adolescent ones in Dublin and one in England) and it took me along time to settle into somewhere were I felt comfortable!I will not go into what the hospitals are like because Siobhan has done that on previous posts BUT they are nothing like movies. I am friends with Siobhan. I met her in hospital and we have made great friends! I think what she is doing to raise awareness of mental health is great! We as a community need to do more about it! The stigma around mental health in Ireland and in general is terrible and something needs to be done about it. Siobhan’s idea about Label Jars Not People is a great idea and I hope people help her raise awareness and raise money for Aware!

I would encourage people if they are having problems to get help as soon as possible and not leave it to progress and get worse! Talking is good! I will admit I don’t think I’m the best talking person in my sessions I like to write my feelings down and then show them. I would even recommend that then show it to someone. I find family a great support and my friends even talk to them and they can direct you in the way of getting help and support you on your way.

I have 3 tattoos they all have meanings my first one is of a swallow and hope, the second one is a design for new beginnings and the third “I was not built to break”!.............There is always hope even when you think there’s not, there’s new beginnings in life when you feel your old ways weren’t working for me it was self harming and I have been through a lot and I haven’t broken I have a few cracks that I got on the way but I did not break.

I have a dream to write a book about my experiences about everything I have gone through. I will have to improve my writing skills Then you can read all about it. My new year’s resolution is going to be 1-My book and 2-Join organisations that help out and speak up about my experiences!

Well I think that is all I can think of for the time being. I’m sure as soon as I mail this to Siobhan I will need to say a lot more. There is always so much to say on this subject but I can’t say it in one writing.I hope you all enjoyed reading this and I know Siobhan has said it but talking is so important! There is so much stigma attached to mental health that doesn’t need to be that must go.

Photo of the day. :)

Looking good Ash :)

There is support out there!

Being a young person is hard enough with so many different things going on around you and so many changes. But it is the best part of your life many people say but not for everybody. Many people don’t talk about mental health and neither do young people. Many young people suffer from mental health problems but because of the stigma associated with mental health they are too scared to speak up and ask for help. The aim of this post is to show young people that they do not have to go through things along. And that there is help available. So here are some help lines that people can contact whenever they need help or just need someone to listen to them.

I know when I write my blog I tend to focus on talking when you are feeling down but I am not the only one in the world that does that so I would like to emphasis the point of talking. Just talking in general, we don’t always have to talk about the bad things that happen to us we can talk about the good things. 

Photo of the day. :)

Look at me Im a Fairy ;)

The Big L.C

I guess I have kind of got over the initial shock that I am doing the leaver cert this year or I think I have anyway. I kind of hope I have. It’s not as daunting as it seems when you are finishing fifth year but there is a lot of work. I have to say there have been a few melt-downs and I have spent some time crying for no reason but it always made me feel better. There is stress and there is pressure but the worst thing about it is that there is so much going on at one time.

While you have to study and do homework there is also things like college open days, looking up college courses, Project Work, Test and so much more. But the thing about it is for me anyway I spent most of my time in the beginning of the year worrying about all of these things but the truth is I didn’t need to, they all just happened and I just had to deal with it. Yeah it’s a stressful time in your life but there is support around you, both at home and in school. To be honest I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have the amazing teachers in my school who are so supportive and will do whatever they can to help and make sure you’re not getting down in the dumps.

It’s all about finding the balance between everything but once you get into the pattern of work then you’re flying. To be honest I also don’t know where this post is going so I think that I might end it here to save myself from boring you by going on a rant. So to finish up I am enjoying sixth year even though it is stressful and can be a pain at times I am most defiantly enjoying my last year in St Wolstan’s :)

Photo of the day. :)

I didn't fall into the river!! I jumped and just happened to land there :/

Label Jars Not People :)

So this is a bit of an update of what is happening with Label Jars Not People.

We are holding a cake sale tomorrow and I hope that everything works well because there is actually a lot involved in holding a cake sale and in the past number of weeks to say there were a few times I was a bit stressed were somewhat of an understatement.

 So anyway I am looking forward to tomorrow after all the money is going to a good cause and people will be getting lots of nice food. I do hope that the people who said they would bake will actually bake!! Any way I have decided that I am not going to panic tonight, I am going to do my homework and the sit down and watch Fair City with a nice cup of hot chocolate before I get down to some backing.

So we would like to say a huge thank you in advance for all of the support we have been given by friends  family teachers and our school community with our cake sale.

So if you want to learn more about our project you can get in contact with the Label Jar Not People team through the following:

Facebook- Label Jars Not People.

Twitter- @LableJar


Or you can contact us by commenting on this post :)

Photo of the day. :)

Im Free, Im Free, Im Finally Free!!

Ripple Maker.

A few weekends ago I made my way into town to attend the national See Change Youth Panel training day. I applied for the Youth Panel a while ago and to be honest I was surprised when I got an email saying I was selected for the Youth Panel. I was over the moon. I was given the chance to work with others who also wanted to achieve the same goal as me; they want to reduce the stigma associated with mental health.

Anyway I arrived late but that was because of athletics. When I did arrive I was given a warm and friendly welcome which put me at ease because I was a bit nervous, I’m not going to lie. So I’m guessing there are many of you reading this post and have no idea what See Change does so I will take this chance to tell you about See Change and then a bit about what the Youth Panel does.

So See Change is an organisation which has been set up to work towards reducing the stigma associated with mental health, not just mental illness because there is a stigma associated with mental health as well. They are a partner organisation and work with a number of other organisations to try and fight the stigma associated with mental health. To do this they started a campaign called Make a ripple. Make a Ripple is about doing something that will make people aware of mental health. For example my ripple could be my blog, and if I write about mental health then you might read it. This in turn may cause you to begin to talk about mental health. It is all about passing on the message from person to person in whatever way possible. No matter how big or how small each ripple is just as important as the other.

The See Change Youth Panel is a group of 10-15 young people aged between 18 and 25 who will advise and guide See Change in all areas of our work, get Ireland talking about mental health, reshaping people’s attitudes and creating new fun ways of reducing the stigma attached to mental health problems.
Key aims in See Change are to:

  1. Create an environment where people can be more open and positive in their attitudes and behavior towards mental health;
  2. Create greater understanding and acceptance of people with mental health problems;
  3. Create greater understanding and knowledge of mental health problems and of health services that provide support for mental health problems; and
  4. To reduce stigma associated with mental health problems and challenge discrimination.”

So do something you feel will make a ripple. One of the things I am doing in school that will make a ripple and get people talking abut mental health is holding a cake sale in school for Aware next Wednesday. So what can you do to make a ripple??

See Change Youth Panel.

Photo of the day. :)

My big bro after getting his degree :) Love him to bits :D

Its Ok to TALK!!

I decided that I might make a power point for this post about how it is ok to talk. I will have more time to write a post tomorrow :)

Photo of the day. :)

Smile :)

Social media.... Good or Bad??

Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Tumbler, Fickler and so many more are all social media sites. Social media has been in the news a lot lately and well it hasn’t been in the news for good reasons but for bad reasons. So is social media really a good thing. There are advantages and disadvantages of social media sites and I am going to take this opportunity to explore the good and the bad of social media.

Social media have become so much part of modern life to the extent that many wonder how they had coped before they were invented and made readily available to all. According to wikipedia, a social networking service is an online service, platform, or site that focuses on facilitating the building of social networks or social relations among people who share interests, activities, backgrounds, or real-life connections.

Social media has become for some people a new way of communication. Everything is done through messages on twitter r on Facebook it is very hard to find a person who does not use social media as a means of organising things. I have to say I even use Facebook or twitter to organise things because I find it easier and there is also the aspect that I am too lazy to do it any other way. In many ways social media had caused me to become lazier than I was in the beginning.

So here are so advantages of social media:

  • People can gain social confidence from interacting with other people online.
  • People can become more familiar with new and emerging technologies.
  • Many people find support in online communities.
  • Online communities can be very diverse and expose people to many new viewpoints, ideas, and   opinions .
  • Keeping in touch with family members that live far away can become much easier through the use of online social networking.
  • Social networking is becoming increasingly important in schools things such as Moodle,.
  • Youth can further explore topics that they’re interested in through online social networking.  
  • Teachers often take advantage of students’ social networking abilities to create class blogs, discussion forums, videos, and more.
  • It is easy and Inexpensive to use.
  • You have Unlimited Access to social media sites and must know information.

The disadvantages of social media are:

  • Opens up the possibility for hackers to commit fraud and launch spam and virus attacks.Increases the risk of people falling prey to  scams that seem genuine, resulting in data or identity theft.
  • May result in negative comments from employees about the company or potential legal consequences if employees use these sites to view objectionable, illicit or offensive material.
  • Cyber Bullying
  • People may become addicted to social media sites which may result in them having health problems due to lack of exercise

So what do you think about Social Media? Is it good or bad? I would love to hear your opinion on this topic!!

Sources of information: Source 1Source 2, Source 3 

Photo of the day. :)

Dont go into A&E dressed as Elmo you get funny looks :/
Just saying :)

Photo of the day. :)

Just chillin :)

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