Lecture Series 2016

Aware  lectures are  free-of-charge to attend and all are welcome to attend. Lectures take place the second Wednesday of every month at the Lecture Theatre, Swift Centre, St. Patrick’s Hospital, James’s St., Dublin 8.

Lectures start at 7.30pm however we advise that you arrive 15 minutes early to ensure you are seated comfortably. Paid parking is available in the St. Patrick’s Hospital car park (entrance via Steeven’s Lane); alternatively, take the Luas (red line) to Heuston Station and walk (map to St. Patrick’s Hospital).

Aware lectures are recorded and are available online in video and audio format each month.

View over 40 hours of free lecture content on Aware’s YouTube channel

View 2012 – 2015 audio & video archives here

2016  Month Lecture Schedule

January 13th: ‘Can computer games/apps support good mental health in children?’

Speakers: Dr Gary O’Reilly, Senior Lecturer/ Director of the Doctoral Training Programme in Clinical Psychology at University College Dublin and Conall Tunney PhD Candidate.

Summary: Dr O’Reilly and Conall Tunney talk about the potential of adding technology based psychological interventions to the traditional therapeutic relationship when working with children. Mindful Gnats is a free app designed to teach young people simple mindfulness and relaxation skills. Pesky gNATs is an app designed to help mental health professionals deliver CBT interventions to young people.

February 10th: ‘Supporting, caring for and loving a person with Depression or Bipolar Disorder whilst caring for yourself’

Speaker: Breda Dooley, MA Applied Psychology, MA Counselling & Psychotherapy, Professional Certification CBT

Summary: Breda Dooley was diagnosed with Bipolar aged 36. She presents on the personal boundaries required in families between the person diagnosed with a mental illness and their partners. Breda is interested in the family as a unit trying to deal with the challenge of coping when one member has a mental health condition. Referencing her own life experience as a parent and partner of 27 years to her husband, she also references her academic research on ‘Partners of a person who has a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder’. 

March 9th: ‘Maximising mental well being in later life’

Speaker: Dr Declan Lyons, Consultant Psychiatrist at St. Patrick’s University Hospital and Lecturer in Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin.

Summary: Dr Lyons highlights some of the special challenges that inevitably accompany later life such as retirement, changed relationships, losses and opportunities as well as suggesting practical strategies to manage the hurdles and make the most of the opportunities presented by this chapter of life.

April 13th: ‘Challenging stigma to improve young people’s mental health’

Speaker: Dr Eilis Hennessy, Senior Lecturer in developmental psychology in UCD School of Psychology.

Dr Hennessy refers to her programme of research which focuses very broadly on the stigma of mental health problems in children and young people and how we can tackle it.

  • Why focus on young people?
  • Are we sure that stigma exists?
  • How would tackling it help mental health?
  • How can it be tacked?
  • What do young people currently know about mental health?

May 11th: ‘Is social anxiety getting you down?’

Speaker: Odhran McCarthy,‎ Principal Clinical Psychologist – Specialist, HSE Dublin North, Founder/Director of Social Anxiety Ireland

Summary: Odhran McCarthy discusses the link between Social Anxiety and Depression and identifies small things we can do to alleviate both.

The lecture content  covers:

  • A definition of Social Anxiety
  • The prevalence of Social Anxiety
  • Who gets Social Anxiety?
  • What Social Anxiety is not?
  • It’s relationship with Depression
  • What can be done?

June 8th: ‘The link between sleep and depression’ presented by Breege Leddy, Director, CBT-I  Specialist, The Insomnia Clinic, Bon Secours Hospital and Manager of Sleep and Clinical Physiology, Mater Private Hospital

Unfortunately the June lecture is not available online due to a technical error that occurred on the night of the lecture. We hope to revisit this lecture theme again in 2017.

July 13th: “The History of Mental Healthcare in the early 20th Century”

Speaker: Dr Lisa Butterly, Historian and Patient Advocate.

Summary: The topics discussed range from transport links with mental health institutions to the role of local and national government in mental healthcare in a time of war and revolution.

August 10th: ‘Supporting the Mental Health of People Living with a Life Limiting Illness’

Speaker: Dr. Regina Mc Quillan, Palliative Medicine Consultant, St Francis Hospice and Beaumont Hospital

This lecture explores how living with a life-limiting illness can affect the emotional and mental wellbeing of the person with the illness and those close to them. It will discuss what might be considered normal responses, and what might be considered abnormal and may require support from counsellors or health professionals. It will also consider how pre-existing mental health problems may be affected.

September 14th:  ”Resilience as a Way through Adversity: Recent Developments in Research”

Speaker: Professor Mark Morgan PhD, Cregan Professor of Education & Psychology, St Patrick’s College, Dublin.

Summary: Traditionally resilience was thought of as personality features that characterised some people and enabled them to survive even difficult adverse circumstances.  This presentation will consider new developments highlighting the personal and social factors that help people when confronted with challenging experiences.  Attention will be given to a range of situations in which resilience is especially relevant including experiences in childhood, in work and in relation to mental health challenges.

October 12th: ‘Sexuality and Mental Health’ presented by Fergal Rooney, Senior Counselling Psychologist, Saint John of God Hospital

Very often sexuality and positive sexual expression are lost as people struggle with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. This lecture will consider the role of sexuality and sexual experiences in the development and progression of mental health difficulties. It will go on to consider how an individual can reclaim positive and healthy sexual expression as a core part of their recovery.

November 9th: ‘Bipolar Moods: Relapse Prevention‘ presented by Dr Patrick McKeon,Consultant Psychiatrist

December 14th: ‘Spirituality and Mental Health in Winter Time’ presented by Rev Jack Finnegan, a Salesian priest, lecturer at All Hallows College and associate professor at Milltown Institute, Dublin. 

Spirituality can be helpful as we deal with the challenges of life. This lecture explores the relationship between the ‘dark night of the soul’, spiritualilty and depression, and the impact on the self.




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