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Niall Breslin and Susan Quirke

A Lust for Life

Impact Winner 2016

A Lust for Life
Claire Brady
Sam Synnott and Judith Ashton

A Lust for Life is a national wellbeing movement to transform how we talk about and treat mental health.

The Challenge

Niall started experiencing mental health challenges from a young age. Panic attacks, insomnia and anxiety left him terrified, without the language to describe it, nor the understanding to cope in a society that deeply stigmatised it. Right now in Ireland, many of us are experiencing challenges in our mental wellbeing, but fear or confusion can stop us from reaching out. This experience can start with retreating from family and friends, and left untreated can be devastating. The organisation Aware estimates that 1 in 10 people experience depression in Ireland today, while according to research by the RCSI, 1 in 5 young adults aged 19-24 and 1 in 6 young people aged 11-13 are experiencing some kind of mental illness.

The Idea

When Niall realised he was experiencing anxiety and depression he was determined that others shouldn’t have to suffer in silence the way he had. He began working with Susan, who is a creative force in the world of wellbeing and believes passionately in the power of community. Together they worked with Pritesh Symonds-Patel, Derry McVeigh and Hugh Cafferky to create A Lust for Life - a trailblazing national movement for wellbeing. Their online platform recognises the power of peer support, where people can share their stories, hear from experts, and be sign-posted to the supports they need. They create inspirational events that focus on health, generating solidarity and a supportive community. They lobby key decision-makers to make positive change through education and health reform.

The Impact

Since their launch in October 2015, A Lust for Life has reached over 1 million people in Ireland. They have cultivated a growing, enthusiastic and active community online, and attract thousands of people to their events. Now a leading voice for wellbeing, mental health and education reform, their vision is to transform how we talk about and treat mental health in Ireland, working together with key people and organisations in the health sector. Whether you are experiencing a mental health challenge and need some
support, or simply want to create more wellbeing in your life, A Lust for Life is here to help.

Niall Breslin and Susan Quirke, Impact Award, 2016


Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, Lower Ground Floor, 11/12 Warrington Place, Dublin 2
Phone: +353 1 685 3191, Email: info@socialentrepreneurs.ie

Company No: 433846, Registered Charity No: CHY 17524, © SEI 2016

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