herald

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Family whose brave insight into dad with depression has captivated nation

A SEARINGLY honest account of how one family copes with their father's depression has resulted in an outpouring of support.

The documentary about the McGinnity family on RTE Radio has received so much interest, that the broadcaster is keen to re-run it.

Loyola McGinnity, whose husband Peter suffers from the mental illness, said: "We're amazed how much of a chord it has struck with people.

A lady came with a bouquet of flowers, and we've had cards, texts and emails. People just want to offer support."

"It's lovely in a bittersweet kind of way. But it's not a consolation because we still live with it and have gone through so much."

She added: "This depression isn't anyone's fault, it's just a culmination of events and family history. This is a very serious illness. And all of this attention (after the documentary) isn't a happy story, this is sadness, this is our private lives which have become public, but the children have been wonderful."

Loyola is making a public plea for people to reach out to those suffering with depression, and she wants to thank her children's friends, and their school Colaiste Ris in Dundalk for all of their help and support.

"The biggest message I'd like to get out there is for people to do something. If you know of someone who suffers from depression, just do something. I remember one lady saw that my husband wasn't doing very well, and she said 'sit down Peter and I'll make you a cup of tea', and it might have even made his day.

"Don't leave a person isolated. Don't leave a family isolated. It's such a serious illness and suicide is so huge in this country, and it's terrible that people look at it as an option."

Joe Duffy's Liveline also featured the family's brave account this week and the programme received a huge public response.

Today RTE said the documentary was such a success that they hope to re-broadcast at a suitable date.

hnews@herald.ie

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