“Accessing peer support in the community really made a massive, massive difference to my life, it actually really did start my recovery. I believe it’s moving on from your diagnosis, building a new, better and stronger life for yourself. Slowly but surely, building up your confidence and knowledge and above all realising that YOU have something to offer.” - Mary O’Sullivan

Mary is very open, friendly and intelligent. She did exceptionally well in school but experienced significant mental health challenges from her late teens. These challenges meant her time in university was cut short. She spent a number of years struggling with her health and unable to engage in work or education. The first step on her recovery journey was when she joined the Kerry Peer Support Network in 2013, funded by the HSE and Genio. “It provides a place for people to come to that there’s no professionals present. That was always a very strong point from the beginning, that there wouldn’t be professionals present and that it would be obviously people who have been through the system themselves. I mean it was initially run for six weeks and it’s six years now it’s still going.” Meeting other people from her community experiencing mental health challenges helped Mary build her confidence and made her realise she was not alone. She started to pursue an education in mental health support and facilitation. She also began to sit on HSE service user panels and recovery education committees. In 2016, she was successful in becoming a paid HSE Peer Support Worker and she brings a wealth of experience and empathy to her role in supporting others. “There is no way 5 years ago that I could have imagined myself doing this and feeling this confident. Any day can be a challenge, but in this there is growth. I have discovered a new life.”

19-21 Westland Square
Pearse St., Dublin 2, D02 YH27, Ireland
Phone +353 1 707 1700
Email [email protected]