Bernadette McElligott lives in Limerick City with her husband and children. She enjoys photography, getting out into nature and crafting. Following the birth of her son 30 years ago, Bernadette started to experience what she now knows was postnatal depression. After being initially brushed off by her GP, Bernadette sought the help she needed and began the journey back to herself.
Billy Clarke is a Recovery Education Facilitator with Mayo Recovery College. He grew up in Westport, Co Mayo and now lives in Castlebar. Billy loves music, sea swimming and is mad about dogs. Billy struggled with alcohol addiction and his own mental health challenges from a young age. Now years into his recovery, he uses his lived experience to educate and support others while always mindful that everyone has their own unique experience.
Chris Sherlock was born and bred in Galway city, where he lives today. Chris was forced to leave school when he was only 13 years old and just three weeks into secondary school after being the victim of brutal bulling. Passionate about media, radio, broadcasting and music, he is now presenter on his own radio show ‘Chris Sherlock On the Wireless’. Chris is a strong advocate for anti-bullying, speaking to schools and has told his story in Mental Health for Millennials (Vol 4) which deals with topic such as death, grief, suicide, sexuality, depression and more.
Dil Wickremasinghe is a journalist, psychotherapist, an award-winning activist and founder of counselling and psychotherapy service Insight Matters. At just 16 years of age, Dil was made homeless after coming out as gay to her strictly religious parents. Born in Rome to Sri Lankan parents, Dil has made Ireland her home with her partner Anne Marie and their two children.
Dr Elizabeth Kyte is a lecturer on the MA Women’s Studies at UCC. Elizabeth has a six-year-old daughter, Evie who has Down Syndrome and an 11 -year-old son Matthew, who is on autism spectrum. Elizabeth and her husband live in Glasheen, Cork. She is the founding member of We Care (www.wecarecollective.ie), set up for parents and care-givers, supporting children with additional needs. To get in touch with the group, you can email WeCareIreland2021@gmail.com
Jennifer Chipa travelled from Zimbabwe to seek asylum in Ireland because her life was in danger due to volatile political unrest in her country. Her experience has been an incredibly tough one, but she has gained hope and happiness participating in the ‘Pathways to Well Being’ programme for supporting immigrants and ethic minorities' mental health and continues to help others in her shoes as a Mental Health Peer Advocate for ethnic minorities.
Joe McNamara is a Special Olympian athlete from County Galway. The eldest of three children, Joe was born with a learning disability and ADHD and at times struggled at school. Joe never lost sight of his dreams and has won Gold Medals at the Special Olympics Ireland Games.
Joanne O’Riordan is a journalist, sports commentator and activist speaking around the world on disability rights. Joanne was born in 1996 in Millstreet, Co Cork with Tetra-Amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs. Joanne has spoken at the Girls in ICT Unit at the United Nations in New York, just days after her 16th birthday, in 2012. She was honoured with a Young Person of the Year Award in 2012 and with an Outstanding Young Person of the World Award. Her brother’s award-winning documentary No Limbs, No Limits has been seen by over 15 million people worldwide. Joanne writes for the Irish Times and other publications on sport and social justice.
Shannon O'Farrell-Molloy is 24 years old and lives with her family in Newbawn, a small area outside New Ross in Co Wexford. Living and thriving with Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy and a mild learning disability, Shannon is an active member of the Special Olympics and the Irish Wheelchair Association.