Time to embrace all things mental

Majella Celebrates World Mental Health Day on Tuesday, October 10, at 8pm in An Grianan Theatre in Letterkenny. This is a free event, but tickets must be booked through the theatre beforehand.

OCTOBER 10 has traditionally become the day the world celebrates mental health, and it is a day Majella O’Donnell looks forward to every year. Over the past few years Majella has made sure that she is in her adopted county of Donegal for this day.

Due to her own challenges in the past, Majella has come to appreciate the importance of learning how to mind her own mental health, and from this grew a passion to do what she could to raise the profile of mental health in County Donegal.


Majella founded the charity Donegal Mind Wellness back in 2014 with a very clear aim – to help people deal with the ups and downs of everyday life that can lead to anxiety and depression, as well as other mental health related problems. Although many people are more aware of mental health in the general sense these days, there remains a big challenge in actually persuading people to prioritise looking after their own mental health.

We all can get so preoccupied with what is going on in the world around us and we can neglect our own inner world – our thoughts, emotions and how we behave. This is usually how a lot of mental health related problems begin. If we cannot read these early signs, it can escalate and at some point life can become a real struggle. And even at this point we may find it really hard to seek help.

“There are usually opportunities for all of us to deepen our self-awareness after we have been through tough times, and this is an important part of recovery and personal development,” said Majella.

Through her charity Majella wants to encourage everyone in Donegal to be more proactive when it comes to looking after our mental health. “Praemonitus praemunitus” is Latin for “forewarned is forearmed” – in other words – if we were more self-aware about the cues for when our mental health is slipping we could take action at an earlier stage.

Donegal Mind Wellness has been bringing this message to people all over the county by regularly delivering an excellent Stress Control programme, which teaches people to become their own therapists. The programme has proven to be very popular and Majella thinks this is down to the simplicity of the programme. It does not use any jargon and explains how stress affects us in a way that is easy to understand. At the end of the programme people feel they have more confidence in con- trolling stresses in their lives.

Latest research on the programme, which was carried out in Inishowen, has shown that many people in Donegal have seen their lives improve after doing the programme.
Following on from last year’s successful afternoon in An Grianan Theatre, Majella wants to invite everyone back for an evening of varied entertainment to celebrate all things mental. She will be giving a talk herself, there will be singing and a short drama piece looking at stress in the workplace.


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