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Tuesday 5 December 2023 Dublin: 3°C

What Stigma? Short doc looks at Ireland's mental health

Mental health experts talk opendly and eloquently about Ireland’s experiences.

“THERE ARE CONVERSATIONS we’re not having that we should be having.”

There is a fear of it. You can’t see it, like a broken arm, and therefore you’re not really quite sure how it works or what it means.

“People think that if you talk about depression, you’re somehow not like them…they think that maybe you’ll go off the handle or you shouldn’t be left alone with sharp knives.”

I think it is a learned behaviour. As you’re growing up and people around you tell you, ‘Keep that quiet, don’t discuss that openly, it could impact your job prospects so be careful to hold the story of any mental health difficulty that you have close to your heart and don’t speak about it’.

“I have no idea why this happened. I have no idea why my son took his own life.”

[You hear things like] they’ve got a son with mental health problem, or a daughter with issues or suffers with her nerves. Ah, shut up. That is 1960s Ireland crap. If we’re not mindful of this stuff, we’re going to run into massive problems.

The above is a selection of the statements made in a new documentary looking at Ireland’s mental health, focussing on the stigma attached to associated issues.

Filmmaker and journalism student James Keating embarked on the project for college but collected wisdom from a number of figures from Ireland’s mental health organisations, including many people who have spoken openly and eloquently about their own experiences of depression and suicide.


The film, which was initially made by James Keating as part of a college project, has been shown at Clones Film Festival and the London Underground Festival.

See more from James Keating here>

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