A phone call when at her lowest mental health ebb proved the genesis for transformation and the formation of a relationship with Pieta House Midlands in Athlone for Mary McCarthy.
Speaking this week as she aims to “give back” to Pieta House, courtesy of a fundraising concert in the Shamrock Lodge on Wednesday, October 16, Mary lauded the staff of the Midlands centre who were a source of support and strength in her time of need.
“Having suffered ongoing mental health issues and attempted to take my own life last year, I was at such a low ebb in life, but the day I picked up the phone and rang Pieta House in Athlone was a life changing moment for me.
“When I arrived at the Pieta House door, there was just an air of serenity, tranquility and calm and that feeling of welcome I received was like no other as I sought to address my mental health issues,” Mary remarked.
Noting the dedicated ethos of the Pieta House staff, Mary recalled her interaction with the HSE mental health services, which she feels is failing those who are most in need in this regard.
“Our Government are simply not allocating sufficient amounts of money into our mental health services. Personally speaking, I believe that there should be drop in centres opened to cater for those suffering mental health issues while they await to avail of psychiatric services,” Mary commented.
Giving due gratitude to her network of family and friends who have been a source of much support, Mary referenced the stigma that is associated with the word “mental”.
“People hear the word ‘mental’ and automatically think of a ‘crazy person’, but this is simply not the case. Sadly, there are numerous strands associated with the words ‘mental health’, varying from mild depression to schizophrenia and those who suffer must receive the treatment that require as an absolute necessity,” Mary emphasised.
Mary, who can trace her early symptoms of depression back to 2005, noted that her worst year since was 2018 when she was in an extremely dark place.
“When I reflect upon that particular year and my state of mind today, I just have to thanks the staff of Pieta House Midlands once again. They truly helped me when my need was greatest. I am proof that there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel with regard to mental health,” Mary added.
Noting that she now knows how to “control her condition”, Mary is encouraging those who are feeling down, no matter how minimal the symptoms, to pick up the phone and call Pieta House, where a relationship of support and trust will have a positive impact.
“The funds raised from the concert next month, which will feature noted entertainers, Simon Casey, Colin Kenny, Mick Flavin and Keith and Lorraine, to name but a few, will go towards continuing the earnest and positive work provided by Pieta House and is due recognition for the time which they have invested in me,” Mary stated.
Tickets for the concert, priced €15, are on sale from the Shamrock Lodge Hotel and Pieta House Midlands in Athlone.