Aware Mental Health Week

Get involved, share your story, support the campaign using #IAmAware and please be sure to tag us on social media.

Aware Mental Health Week will take place from Monday 4 October and conclude on World Mental Health Day, Sunday 10 October. This awareness campaign aims to increase understanding of depression, provide hope and empower people to reach out for support, along with providing clinical expertise to educate the public on the causes, course and consequences of depression. We have a host of content, videos and stories, alongside a three-part webinar series to mark the week.

Play Video

This short video brings together different experiences of depression. In their own words, our ambassadors describe what depression looks like for them and its impact.

Play Video

Mary McEvoy (performer), Maclean Burke (actor) and Jennifer Barry (actress) share,
in their own words, their experience
of depression and how it impacts them.

Kehlen Mikkelson & Aware’s Dr. Claire Hayes were on Ireland AM talking about Kehlen’s experience of depression and how it has impacted her and Claire shared how we can recognise depression.

David O’Connor was on Newstalk with Pat Kenny talking about his experience of depression and how it has impacted
his life, including ways he manages
his mental health today.

Please scroll down to see all the free resources available with this campaign, or choose from the menu of options below.


Screenshot of Stephen McBride and Dr Claire Hayes from webinar - Back to Basics Recognising Depression
Back to Basics:
Recognising Depression
Monday 4 Oct
Stillshot of Claire and Keith during Coping with Depression Webinar
Coping With Depression:
Clinical Insights
Wednesday 6 Oct
Depression & Me - screenshot of three participants - Brianna, David & Claire
Depression & Me:
Personal Perspectives
Friday 8 Oct

Quotes from Aware Ambassadors

"Having depression is like being in a room with all your closest friends, but feeling lonely."
Jennifer Barry
Irish Actress
"When you meet me during the day, you have no idea of the struggle it took to get me here."
Mary McEvoy
Irish Performer
"It's like hanging off a ledge, slowly losing your grip. You can hear people calling out, but you've lost your voice."
Maclean Burke
Irish Actor
"The first time I became depressed in my 20's, I was very frightened. I felt I would never laugh or enjoy life again."
Mary Black
Irish Musician
"My depression made me feel different from everyone else, I wasn't good enough."
"It breathes down my neck every morning and climbs into bed with me. Depression knows me better than anyone."
"Depression strips me of everything, right down to the core."
"There were physical & psychological symptoms, such as blame, guilt, hopelessness and a fear of being alone."
"It is a confusing illness with negative thoughts, impaired concentration, terrible anxiety and unreal tiredness."
"Experiencing depression is one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through."
"I lost sight of who I was; purpose, values, priorities greatly diminished, or ceased to exist in some cases."
"It feels heavy like weights fixed to my limbs. The light of the world feels impossibly far away and out of reach."
"There's a sense of dark silence inside that creeps up and gets into my head. It can overwhelm you at very short notice."
"The taste of feeling powerless made it hard for me to commit to any hope."
"Depression to me is like a barrier comes down between you and the outside world."
"Depression is feeling like every day is a struggle and being scared of never experiencing joy again."
"It can be very hard to explain to people who have never experienced it & the often continuous intensity of it."
"It stops me from doing all the things I love to do. It can rob you of energy to the point where you can't get out of bed."
"Depression is a terrifying experience, capable of robbing you of all the simple joys of life."


Aware Mental Health Week Ambassadors have written about depression as they experienced it, giving an insight into the impact it had on their life.

I was convinced that I could never be good enough to fit in
I needed help, I had to stop kidding myself
I could only see darkness, where there was light
It is frustrating to have a feeling I cannot put words to

What is Depression and Helpful Tips for Coping

“Depression is a common condition, yet many people are unaware of the symptoms and the profound impact it can have on people’s lives. Any one of us, irrespective of age, gender or background can be affected. It’s important to remember that recovery is possible but early recognition, support and ongoing management of the condition are key to a positive outcome.” – Dr Claire Hayes, Clinical Psychologist & Clinical Director at Aware.

What is depression and how do I recognise it - black background with light bulb inside a thought bubble
What is depression and how do I recognise it?
Helpful tips for coping with depression

Supporting Others

If you are looking for information and resources to help you as you support a loved one who experiences depression, we have some helpful actions and options below.

“Keeping in contact with loved ones is crucial. This is true, even if you (or they) are in isolation. While we may be a phone-call or a zoom call away from someone, taking the time to write and post a note to someone we care about can mean more to the person who receives it than we will ever know.”
Dr Claire Hayes, Clinical Psychologist & Clinical Director at Aware.

Supporting Friends and Family

Aware Mental Health Programmes

Aware also offers a range of free evidence informed education programmes to include the Life Skills Group Programme and Life Skills Online Programme, which are based on the principles of CBT and statistically proven to be of benefit to people experiencing mild to moderate depression. The Relatives & Friends Programme is designed specifically for those supporting a loved one and focuses on the self care of the supporter. The Living Well With Bipolar Disorder Programme is an information and support programme, designed for people with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.


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