That time I was given an award by South By South West (SXSW) Festival and flew to Texas to pick it up

Outside the main conference centre in Austin by Marie Duffy

The time I flew to Texas and was presented an award by the prestigious South By SouthWest (SXSW) festival. Definitely an experience of a lifetime! Sat beside Jeffrey Tambor on a plane from New York to Texas and couldn’t figure out who he was until I saw him on stage as the festival. Left in the middle of George Takei’s talk when I checked my emails and realised I mixed up my flight details by 24 hours and had to leave for the airport immediately. Doh.

This time four years ago I was furiously in the middle of co-writing a book. I’m a writer so obviously I had always wanted to write a book. But for this project I had a really tight schedule- basically write it in three months and do my other duties at work at the same time. I get anxious just thinking about it lol

I also knew that I was going to the South By South West Festival (also known as SXSW) in Austin Texas to pick up an award for my work with but also my work over the years as a mental health advocate and lobbying for change for better mental health services particularly for young people. Continue reading “That time I was given an award by South By South West (SXSW) Festival and flew to Texas to pick it up”


Rules to live by: 25 Principles of Adult Behaviour by John Perry Barlow

You may or may not have heard about the passing John Perry Barlow at the age of 70 this week. He was a Silicon Valley visionary and the Guardian describe him as a “Cattle rancher, lyricist for the Grateful Dead and internet pioneer who became a digital rights activist”. You can read their obituary here.

When he was 30, John drew up a list of what he called Principles of Adult Behavior. I’ve listed the principles below. I love them and think everyone should have a read of them and  they’re pretty good rules to live by.

Principles of Adult Behaviour

By John Perry Barlow

1. Be patient. No matter what.
2. Don’t badmouth: Assign responsibility, never blame. Say nothing behind another’s back you’d be unwilling to say, in exactly the same tone and language, to his face.
3. Never assume the motives of others are, to them, less noble than yours are to you.
4. Expand your sense of the possible. Continue reading “Rules to live by: 25 Principles of Adult Behaviour by John Perry Barlow”

Mental health survey

Fill out a mental health survey and help inform a project to boost people’s mental health.

I have to design a health promotion project that will benefit people’s mental health as part of a college course I’m doing. The course is called Mental Health in The Community and I’m studying it in Letterkenny but it’s with University College Cork . I need help and would love if you could fill out this survey.

It shouldn’t take long and you do not to have experienced poor mental health to take part.

Thanks in advance.

Walking and taking pictures



I walk to help me feel better. I don’t particularly like walking and I started taking pictures on my phone to help make the walks go quicker. I know I’m surrounded by beauty but when I’m not feeling great, I often don’t see any of it.

Since I came back back to Donegal in August I’ve been doing a lot of walking.

I joined a walking group for people experiencing mental health difficulties. I’ll admit it was challenging, but I stuck with it.

I started out walking three or four times a week at first. Around 7-8km every day.

Now I’ll be honest, it wasn’t easy and I didn’t really enjoy it at first. I was walking between 4-5 times a week, every week for about 3 months before I started to enjoy it.

I’ve always heard the term ‘Activation precedes motivation’ and it’s true. It basically means that you have to do something before you get motivated to do it. If I was going to wait to be motivated to go for a walk I prob would never ever have gone for one.

On a good week I’m walking 5 days a week and up to 40km a week but often much more. One week I walked 60km. Eek. Definitely not something I would have even thought was possible a few months ago.

Now, for anyone looking at my pictures on my social media pages they prob aren’t aware of the struggle behind each picture.

Continue reading “Walking and taking pictures”

Sending out my first newsletter

So yesterday I sent out my first newsletter. Eek….

I’ve been thinking about it for a while. But I always talked myself out of it. What if everyone hates it?, what if no-one subscribes? etc Lot’s of what ifs.

But no-one would do anything if they listened to all the doubts in their heads, and I’ve been all too guilty of that for too long.

It’s definitely a work in progress, but hopefully I’ll improve as I go along. ( I will won’t I? )

It was a collection of topics related to mental health, creativity, walking around Donegal. Also a summary of some of the more popular posts from here.

I’ve started out small and sent it out to a small group of 30 subscribers. I sent it yesterday and so far 80 per cent of the people who received it have opened it and engaged with it by clicking etc

Slowly, slowly….

I’ve included the content in the link below. Please subscribe so you can be kept up to date to future newsletters etc. It’s gonna be a monthly thing, so you won’t be spammed weekly or anything.

Check it out: January 2018 newsletter

Great campaign supporting men’s mental health

Best Man campaign
Picture of Prince William, Loyle Carner and Roman Kemp in conversation.

I’m a huge fan of  the work that Prince William, Kate and Prince Harry are doing around mental health. They set up the Heads Together charity to work specifically on mental health and they have been rolling out some great campaigns ever since.

The ‘Best Man Project’ is aimed at men and encouraging them to choose a ‘best man’ or a friend who they can talk to about stuff or confide in when they need some support.

I hear it all the time. Men don’t talk. Personally I believe that is a myth. Men do talk about lots of stuff, but in a different way to women. We communicate differently but that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t communicate.

They talk about lots of stuff, it’s not always about how they feel but they do talk, they  just need some encouragement and help along the way.

Continue reading “Great campaign supporting men’s mental health”