stigma mental health

TMS Expert Blog: Reducing Mental Illness Stigma in Ireland

Our Irish TMS Technician, Ailish O’Grady, provides her expert views on the sensitivity surrounding mental health issues in Ireland. 

Ailish is a Technician at Smart TMS, a leading mental health clinic specialising in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy based in Dublin. She provides advice and treatment for patients with mental health conditions and addiction using TMS therapy.

Ailish writes:

A Tide is Turning

Reducing Stigma and Discrimination surrounding Mental Illness

In recent decades, mental illness has become recognised as an increasingly pressing public health concern.

Currently 450 million people worldwide are directly affected by mental illness.

In this sense, mental illness does not discriminate. It affects people of every religion, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, the rich, the poor and everyone in between.

In Ireland, mental illness significantly impacts the lives of individuals, their families and society as a whole, with 11% of the Irish population experiencing a mental health issue and the highest suicide rate among young people in Europe. But if this widespread public health issue is so apparent, why is there a chronic lack of awareness, education and services for mental healthcare?

The World Health Organisation admits that in the past, mental health research, policy making, education and service provision have been largely ignored and neglected, having been ‘hidden behind a curtain of stigma and discrimination’ (WHO, 2003 p.3). This is an insidious aspect of mental illness that has crept in over time.

Stigma and discrimination affect almost every aspect of mental healthcare, the services, education, our perception of mental illness, our willingness to seek help, our recovery, among many other things.

For this reason, the world health organisation have deemed mental illness stigma and its associated discrimination as the most important barrier to overcome in the community.

It is important that we recognise and highlight the detrimental knock-on effects that stigma and discrimination have on individuals suffering from mental illnesses, how this stigma developed, as well as looking at the various things we, as individuals and as a society can do to help ameliorate this unfair and damaging stigma.

This is within our power to change.


  • World Health Organisation,. (2003). Investing in Mental Health. Geneva: Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence, Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health. Retrieved from

Ailish TMS technician

Ailish, TMS Technician

Ailish is a member of the the Smart TMS team of technicians at our Dublin TMS Clinic in Ireland.

Her qualifications and experience include:

  • Degree in Psychology through science at Maynooth University.
  • Worked as a volunteer Mental Health carer.
  • Particular interest in Mental Health, Cognition and Neuroscience fields of Psychology.

About TMS Treatment

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy at Smart TMS

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a new approach to treating very difficult mental health conditions and offers hope to millions whose condition is not improved by medication or therapy.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is an innovative treatment which uses magnetic pulses to work directly on the areas of the brain affected by the mental health condition being treated. This could be depression, addiction, PTSD, OCD or anxiety.

Patients have typically spent years on antidepressants and also tried CBT or other talking therapies before finding out about TMS, which offers a completely different approach to treatment.

More Information on TMS Treatment

Contact Us

Smart TMS’s new Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation treatment clinic will be located at:

Pembroke House,
28/32 Pembroke Street Upper,
Dublin 2,

For any queries or to book an appointment, please contact us:


Tel: (01) 254 2514

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