As part of a series of articles to raise awareness about Movember, contributor Conor Kelly talks about experiences of dealing with mental and physical health issues. To give a real and complete insight of mental health struggles, he also talked to Andrea. If you’ve missed the previous articles, you can find them here and here.

Andrea Horan is the owner and entrepreneur of Tropical Popical – a nail bar based on South William Street -, co-founder of the United Ireland podcast – which explores the problems facing Ireland and the world alongside Una Mullaly-, and co-founder of the group ‘no more hotels’ – a series of events based in Dublin to raise awareness of the importance of nightlife culture in Dublin city and the on-going housing crisis. She talked with me about what has influenced her life, her mental health and her self-care routine.

‘’I firmly believe that every moment has an equal impact on shaping my beliefs, approach and understanding of the world. Whether that’s a night spent clubbing or the death of my dad, both had an equal if very different effect on getting me to where I am now”, she started.

“I think the main thing everyone can do is to not post so much on social media and to understand and recognise the virtues of reaching out and talking to someone who is suffering or who is not quite themselves. Engaging in empathy at every level, and not just in a performative way can be the difference in making people feel less exposed” 

She continued – “My self-care routine is making sure I find the time to allocate enough time to doing things I love. Hanging out with friends, going dancing and partying, making sure I have enough downtime on my own. I get very claustrophobic if I’m surrounded by people all the time. It’s all about balancing my social and not so social sides!’’, she concluded.

As a writer and activist, I wanted to write this series on mental health because in this country we don’t talk enough about these issues, we don’t like telling people around us that we’re not feeling great. We, as a country, need to change the definition of mental health because we always think the worst of what mental health is. We need to understand it’s normal to go through depression, anxiety and stress because every single person we know has or is going to go through a similar experience as we do.

I could write a long-winded paragraph about what needs to change but all I’ll say is that we need to confront ignorance and toxic actions that lead people to suffer from mental health issues that we have all allowed grow in society. We need to do better.


Photo rights: Andrea Horan


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