Young Offenders star urges people to ‘open up about how you’re feeling’

'I promise you it gets better,' Jennifer Barry said while sharing her own experience of depression and anxiety
Young Offenders star urges people to ‘open up about how you’re feeling’

Jennifer Barry. Picture: Andy Gibson.

Cork actor Jennifer Barry has encouraged anyone experiencing depression, anxiety or other mental health issues to reach out to loved ones for support.

Her appeal comes two years to the day since she considered ending her own life, she revealed on social media today.

Ms Barry said her parents and boyfriend intervened in that instance and she urged anyone experiencing mental health difficulties to speak to someone. She also shared contact information for a number of helplines.

“To people who feel like giving up, please don’t. Please open up about how you are feeling. I promise you it gets better,” she said.

Ms Barry, who is from Kilbrittain, was diagnosed with depression two months before filming the second series of The Young Offenders. She stars as Siobhan in the hit TV series.

“I was sick from October 2018 but it wasn't actually diagnosed until March 2019. At the moment I'm recovering from depression and coping with anxiety,” she told the Irish Examiner last summer.

Jennifer Barry as Siobhán and Demi Isaac Oviawe as Linda in The Young Offenders. Picture: PA Photo/ BBC/Vico Films/Miki Barlok

Jennifer Barry as Siobhán and Demi Isaac Oviawe as Linda in The Young Offenders. Picture: PA Photo/ BBC/Vico Films/Miki Barlok

“My family were a brilliant support to me then and now, even though I didn’t let them know what was going on. If I had anxiety attacks, I just locked myself in my room and wouldn't talk to anyone, just didn't let anyone know. Being silent is the worst thing I did.

"I was just trying to tell myself to cop on while these feelings were just fighting against me. I was in a place of despair. My options felt so limited.” She said the help and support from her family and co-stars made a huge difference.

“One good thing that came out of this for me is that my relationship with my family is even better than ever. And my onscreen family were, and still are brilliant. We always had each other’s backs and that doesn’t stop when filming ends.”

More in this section

Lifestyle
Newsletter

The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up