Majella O'Donnell: Teach stress control classes in secondary school to improve teens' mental health

Majella O'Donnell: Teach stress control classes in secondary school to improve teens' mental health

Majella O'Donnell has spoken out against Ireland's attitude towards mental health, saying services in the country are far from ideal.

She spoke on the Ray D'Arcy Show about a Facebook post she shared before Christmas, highlighting how hard a friend of hers found it to get help for depression.


View the post on Facebook here

Majella, who experiences depression herself, believes we need to be more proactive in treating mental health as problems are allowed to build before 'firefighting' with the results.

"Something is terribly wrong here and needs to be addressed," she said. She says young people need to be trained to deal with their emotions and relationships.

"I'm a firm believer we should have stress control classes in secondary school."

Majella is proud to work with a local charity, Donegal Mind Wellness, to tackle mental health problems in her community.

"I'm lucky I'm in a position to raise money. Donegal is a very deprived county," she said, noting unemployment and cutbacks to fishing as issues in the area. "I thought it would be nice to give something back to the county that's been so good to me."

Free stress control classes are one of the main programmes facilitated by the charity.

Majella also spoke about her battle with cancer. She has been free of cancer for over three years, and is looking forward to five years cancer-free.

She says a side effect of her treatment is a problem remembering song lyrics, so she has stopped performing publicly.

"My brain seems to be slower and I get stressed more easily," she said. "I found I was forgetting words. I was getting stressed before going on stage about forgeting words so of course I'd end up forgetting them."

Majella O'Donnell: Teach stress control classes in secondary school to improve teens' mental health

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