PJ Gallagher explores Ireland’s battle for mental wellbeing in new RTÉ documentary

Comedian PJ Gallagher becomes a mental health warrior in PJ Gallagher: Changing My Mind, a candid RTÉ documentary that explores mental health in Ireland with the humor and heart that defines it.

After a life-saving stay at St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services, PJ Gallagher embarks on a mission to maintain his long-term mental health and well-being while facing the joys and challenges of welcoming twins.

He forcefully admits that he almost ‘died of shame’ – he was too ashamed to talk about his depression, to the point of becoming suicidal.

PJ Gallagher said: “When I started doing comedy 25 years ago, talking about mental illness was the last thing I thought I would be doing. In fact, I tried to do the exact opposite. But my mission now is to have a conversation and try to get other people to have their own discussions about mental illness, and to know the difference between mental illness and your everyday mental health. I’ve learned that there is no right or wrong way to talk about it. No one will tell you that just talking will make you better, but you have to start talking to find out what will make you better. I hope that this documentary can help people in some small way.”

PJ Gallagher: Changing My Mind is a celebration of his progress and his commitment to extending that lifeline to those on their own mental health journey, by partnering with advocacy groups and working to dismantle the stigma associated with mental health health issues.

That stigma can be life-threatening especially for men – suicide is the leading cause of death in men under 25, yet Pieta House says 70% of service users are women.

PJ talks to researchers and psychotherapists, but also meets men’s groups that create connection and space to talk about the problems they face.

He investigates whether he has been diagnosed with ADHD, ventures again into mindfulness and talk therapy and explores the possibilities of groundbreaking therapies such as psilocybin, an emerging psychedelic treatment.

PJ Gallagher: Changing My Mind is a raw dive into Ireland’s battle for mental wellbeing, airing on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player on Monday 20 May at 9.35pm.

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