Irish Olympian talks about fight with depression

Irish Olympic hero Eamonn Coghlan has spoken of his personal battle with depression at the end of his running career – and the importance of knowing that help is available.

The three-time Olympian is urging people who are feeling depressed, suicidal or in despair, to talk to the national suicide prevention and bereavement charity Console.

Senator Coghlan said: “When I finished running competitively, I was down and, thankfully, my family recognised that.

“It seems simple now, but once I identified why I was down and got on top of it, I recovered,” said Eamonn.

“This is why it is so important that people who are in trouble talk about their problems.

“There’s loads of help out there. You may feel you can’t talk to your friends or your neighbours but you can always talk to organisations such as Console.”

Dressed as Davy Jones, the athlete-turned-Senator performed the Monkees’ sixties hit ‘Daydream Believer’ in aid of Console on the Late Late Show’s ‘Reach for the Stars’ event.

The Senator is asking people to support the charity by texting Star 2 to 53125 before the voting lines close at midday on Friday. Each text cost 60 cent and a minimum of 48 cent goes to the charity.

“Three thousand people in distress call Console’s 24 hour helpline every month and get immediate, professional help,” said Eamonn.

“Sadly I have known several people, really close friends and neighbours, who have taken their own lives. When I was down I got through it by talking, Console offers people that chance to talk and be listened to.

“Now I feel fantastic and I love life. I want to get the message out there no one needs to go it alone. There is always someone you can talk to on Console’s 24 hour helpline and the number is easy to remember – 1800 247 247."

Console founder and CEO Paul Kelly praised Senator Coghlan for his openness in discussing his experience with depression.

“Eamonn is right about talking, if you are in distress or you are concerned about a loved one, don’t suffer in silence, please pick up the phone and talk to Console.

“There is help available and above all there is hope,” said Paul.

Console’s CEO thanked the Late Late for hosting the ‘Reach for the Stars’ event in what has been a difficult time for charities.

“Console needs to raise 70% of the funding required to keep our 24 hour helpline and our centres, which provide one-to-one counselling and psychotherapy for people at risk of suicide, running.

“So this fantastic gesture by Eamonn and RTE is much appreciated,” said Paul.

Console offers counselling services and 24-hour helpline support to people in crisis and those bereaved by suicide (Freephone 1800 247 247).

The charity has full-time counselling centres in Limerick Cork, Dublin, Wexford, Galway, Kerry and Mayo. It also offers services in Kildare and Athlone and has recently opened a service in London.

Console can be reached at any time on freephone 1800 247 247 and many resources and useful information can be found at www.console.ie.

  • Click to stay connected with more stories like this
  • Sign up here to receive news by email. Once per day, no spam.

Most Read in Ireland