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Kind Majella helps Donegal depression sufferers

Daniel and Majella O'Donnell at home last year.

Daniel and Majella O’Donnell at home last year.

By Cronan Scanlon

SUFFERERS of depression in Donegal are being given the opportunity to avail of a free six-week ‘stress control’ course thanks to brave Majella O’Donnell.

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The Donegal News has learned that Mrs O’Donnell (53), wife of Kincasslagh crooner Daniel, who is currently recovering from a double mastectomy and cancer, has offered to fund and support the HSE-run initiative.

A spokesperson for the HSE said Ms O’Donnell has a “huge personal interest in mental health” and, following meetings with them, she has secured funding to support the roll out of stress control in Donegal.

“Stress Control is a free six-week programme which teaches people the skills to manage stress. Majella has trained as a trainer of stress control herself and is keen that the programme is offered widely across communities in the county,” the spokesperson said.

She has spoken freely about overcoming her battle with depression after the collapse of her first marriage over a decade ago.
“I suppose I felt suicidal but I never thought I would go through with it,” she said.

“Yes, I felt that I didn’t want to go on any more, that I was fed up, that life had nothing to offer me but it never got to a stage where I thought I would leave a note, it was much more a case of struggling along.

“Unless you’ve had it, it’s almost impossible to understand. Daniel is really good but he still doesn’t have a clue what I’m going through. When you’re down there, it’s frightening. I always ask is it going to lift or is it going to last forever? Daniel just lets me to it and really that’s what I want – though I know he’s always there for me if I need him.”

The course is for anyone who wants to learn how to deal with stress and to learn better ways to get on top of common problems such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, loss of confidence and poor sleep.

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You are simply asked to come along to listen, learn and practice the skills.

The courses start next week, to book a place and register your interest, call 074 9131245 or 91 97169.

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Donegal News is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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