Support Emma's recovery & help break the Stigma

We've created this campaign in hopes of helping Emma with the much-needed funds to access specialist support and inpatient care. Emma has been suffering from an Eating Dissorder since the age of 15, and while she has received care at an early age, recently, she's been finding her "day to day" a struggle with OCD, for which she's been challenged to find the right help through the public system.

If you'd meet Emma for the first time, you'd find that she's a very humble and slightly shy person, but quickly discover that she's easy to warm to and very caring. She cares about others and has, over the years, been open about discussing some of her struggles with the eating disorder, going far as speaking in her secondary school about her recovery process and somewhat advocating.

However, one missing piece of the story is that she's somewhat continued to struggle underneath.

We, as her friends, have been in the knowledge that she's been having some difficulty with food. Still, Emma has been continuing life as usual with her coping mechanisms, distracting herself by keeping busy, going to places, meeting friends, and doing pastimes.

When the lockdown had started, life changed drastically for many, and so did for Emma. During this period, she started going through some health problems that have begun causing concerns for her. In addition, like for many, she had found it challenging to find care, with GP's and care being limited to the public, and so did the start of the carousel of despair.

During this time, Emma has gone further by isolating herself from the things that she used to enjoy in life, such as; sea swimming (one of her favourite things to do), because of the fear that she might become unwell. Her OCD has become all-consuming for her.

As time goes on, the journey becomes considerably more complex with every visit to mental health support and the medical professionals these days. Emma has found difficulty eating and avoiding particular foods with fears of contamination. This is the same route that her eating disorder has taken her down at one stage, and losing weight, we have all been seriously concerned.

Now Emma's day to day consists of pushing through with heavy and consistent support from us, family and friends, helping Emma through crisis and breakdowns in the mornings, getting to go out to places where she feels comfortable eating and going from one appointment to the other with very little result.

Emma has gone through some difficult things in life. But who hasn't really? While she has come through many challenges, this time it's a little different, but the way it's being dealt with in the Public System is, how should I put it? "Simply shocking" with their so -called "treatment".

Truly, it's been awful to see the way the Irish public mental health system is treating their patients. No wonder there are high cases of mental health related situations in Ireland, as well as overcrowding in hospitals. Cases of Drunken nights and Drug related issues. People try to “medicate them self” to try and ease the pain.

Together with Emma, we have seen the extent of which the “support” is just another prescription. The options for crisis are limited with “hospitalisations”, and when one is ready for change it’s all about “going for walks” and “staying positive”. The stigma of mental health has never been more in the forefront than now and yet all the system can do is put you on a waiting list, and let you deal with it yourself, or let others like your family try to solve the issues.

The system is broken, underfunded and simply nothing but a wheel that keeps going round and around with no clear resolution.

We have pleaded, and begged for more in depth support as Emma had said - “I am ready for change, but I just need a more serious help to find my way around things” and this is only available through the private system. A system that is so limited in reach because neither Health Insurance will cover if you have had any sort of “mental health” symptoms in the past, or the little amount of cases that can be funded through the HSE is only limited to “certain cases” in the system. While this seems to be available at a low percentage of admission cases, Emma was refused on the basis that she’s getting sufficient support within the public system. What does one need to do for this to change?

This is why we are asking for public support, to find sufficient help for Emma to find her inner peace and happiness, break through the boundaries and help to break this vicious cycle.

While helping Emma, on a daily basis, we have learned that there is more that needs to be done, and this is why we're asking for support with her care to help her get the right support for her OCD.

With your support, Emma is not only looking for personal help, but also aim's to highlight the issues with mental health support, and by sharing her story, we aim to break some of the stigmas behind the silence.

"It's ok not to be ok", but at times of need, we all deserve the proper care.
  • Paul Flaherty 
    • €50 
    • 3 d
  • Eadaoin Richardson 
    • €5 
    • 3 d
  • Nóra Murphy 
    • €20 
    • 23 d
  • Mary Whelan 
    • €20 
    • 1 mo
  • Nicole Lonergan 
    • €11 
    • 1 mo
See all


Emma Osullivan 
County Cork