OUR AMBASSADORS

We are proud to have a high quality of professional and energetic individuals passionate about our cause who greatly assist and promote our work in the community.

Our Ambassadors are representatives and advocates to the community, they recognise the importance of raising awareness and reducing the stigma associated with mental health.

Our Ambassadors recognise and understand the importance of outreach in the community by playing a leadership role in directing individuals towards professional help, in the prevention of suicide and depression.

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AIMIE O'ROURKE

Aimie joined The Flawed Journey as a Mental Health Ambassador in February 2021. Aimie has always been passionate about Mental Health and breaking the stigmas that surround it. Aimie's passion stemmed from her own experience of mental health and the experiences her family members had while she was growing up.

 

Aimie wanted to expand her knowledge and do a job which gave her a sense of fulfilment. Aimie has completed a four year Social Care degree and during this time she volunteered for Childline in Ireland, which is a phone and online service which provides immediate support for young people in need.

 

Aimie has worked in many different areas that all link with providing mental health support to clients and service users. Aimie is currently working as a Child and Family Practitioner in Sydney, Australia. This role provides Aimie the opportunity to work closely with families to put further supports in place to help re-establish secure bases and networks to ensure a stable environment for children to return to their families. 

Aimie arrived to Sydney late 2019 and due to the Pandemic landing shortly after and being away from the support of her friends and family she began to struggle. As an expat, Aimie had little knowledge of Mental Health supports available to her and was not in a position to afford the high costs of counselling supports that came up on Google, having used the services of The Flawed Journey to maintain her mental health as an expat abroad, Aimie has benefited from the sessions that the practice offers. Aimie believes that it is so important to look out for one another and to be there to support the community in Australia. 

Aimie is driven to provide support and raise awareness in both Sydney & Ireland in hopes of breaking down the stigma that surrounds Mental Health. Aimie advises that she is a huge advocate of the work that The Flawed Journey do both in Australia and at home in Ireland and feel she has a lot to contribute to the Flawed Journey as a Mental Health Ambassador. 

Connect with Aimie here.

BLAKE ANDREAS

Blake joined The Flawed Journey as a Mental Health Ambassador in March 2021. Blake fought a long battle between his illness, alcohol & drugs and at aged 21 made the move from his regional home town of Dubbo NSW to Sydney. He made the big move to better his career and start a new chapter with a positive mindset. 

 

Fast forward to 2020, Blake is currently living with his wife on the Sunshine Coast, and is working as a FIFO worker. Blake says even though he has stopped his medication and is in a much better mental state, it doesn't ever completely go away. You will find things that make you genuinely happy, whether it's a sport, hobby, reading a book, adventure, camping or fishing. Blake found fishing to be just that for him. He can come home see his wife and forget about work, then go fishing by himself or with a mate. Blake says there is something very calming about being on the water, as if time would almost stand still. 

 

Blake is a very social interactive person and loves to chat to anybody and listens to where they are at. When Blake is not flying over the countryside for work you will find him providing people a space where they can listen to his podcast Rise & Find. It’s a podcast to inspire people from all walks of life to share their mental health journey. Blake catches up with people from non-for profit organisations, mindset coaches, fitness gurus and people that are sharing their mental illness and what tools and resources they use to help them now day by day.

 

Blake says to him Rise & Find means to "Rise up for the day, get out of bed and get active", and to Find what you love outside of work whatever sport, hobby, activity or adventure that may be. The reason behind his business is for him to share his story about Mental Health and engage with the community to be a great Role Model and Mentor and “Bring it to the Surface”. 

Blake is currently completing a Certificate IV in Youth Work, and his vision for Rise and Find is to promote awareness, and provide support to those in the community, to help remove the stigma surrounding mental health.

 

Blake says with him being an Ambassador for The Flawed Journey it is exciting as he will get to work alongside the amazing counselling services that The Flawed Journey provide and he will be able to assist with extending reach to people unaware of The Flawed Journey's services available.

Find out more about Rise & Find and Blake's mental health story here.

MAI KENNEALLY

Mai joined The Flawed Journey as a Mental Health Ambassador in March 2021. Mai is a qualified Early Childhood educator. In college, Mai completed a student placement with an Irish charity Barnardos that involved working with children who’s parents suffered from mental health issues and addictions. Mai loved the strategies used such as mindfulness with preschool children, which give them the coping skills for life and promoted resilience. 

 

Once Mai finished college in Ireland, she then decided to travel to Sydney, a scary new adventure, but has been everything she has dreamed of and more. Mai is currently working as a disability support worker for individuals with physical, mental and intellectual disabilities. 

 

Mai's passion for mental health stem from her own battle with anxiety as a child and throughout her teenage years. Mai suffered with panic attacks often and it was a very low point in her life when exam stress hit from leaving cert. Mai has had her own experiences throughout her teenage years with therapy and life coaching.

 

Mai found both therapy and coaching really helpful and her aim is to remove the stigma around going to therapy. Mai understands that, if you break your leg, you would go to a doctor, so why not go to therapy If you’re not feeling 100% mentally? 

 

Mai sees herself as being a spiritual being and she finds affirmations and meditation helps her anxiety immensely. Mai also enjoys reading angel cards and finds such comfort in this as it gives her faith and comfort that there are better days yet to come.

Mai's overall goal for her role as an ambassador with The Flawed Journey is to break the stigma on attending therapy and to create it as an everyday conversation for all, where no one feels fear or shame in discussing that they are going through a rough patch. Mai is looking forward to implementing different workshops for those at home in Ireland and Abroad and overall being part of a community that is passionate about breaking the stigma and lifting each other higher to become the best versions of ourselves.

Find out more about Mai here or connect with Mai here for a reading.

LEE CHESTNUTT

Lee joined The Flawed Journey as a Mental Health Ambassador in March 2021. Lee is from Northern Ireland, 35 years of age and father of two wonderful kids. Lee is currently challenging himself by studying at University of Ulster in Communication & Counselling whilst having a learning disorder Dyslexia and Dyscalculia and is not letting this interrupt his studies.

 

Lee is a Mental Health Advocate & Public Speaker who has run previous workshops & events to proudly share his own lived experience battling with his mental health. Lee is very passionate in Mental Health and especially around Men's issues, he ensures to use his voice and platform on social media to normalise Men's Mental Health and how males should talk and express how they are feeling.

Back in October 2020, Lee trekked Slieve Donard for #WorldMentalHealthDay and raised funds for Aware NI who are the depression charity for Northern Ireland and provide support for people with depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. Lee is also a disability union rep and ensures to do what he can for his community to break the stigma associated with mental health.

Lee openly discusses his experiences with his mental health journey in hope that it will help someone else out there. After a long battle with his mental health and going through periods of vulnerability where Lee lost his job and lived in his car, showering in a leisure centre before going to work each day. Lee was diagnosed with obsessional thought disorder in 2013 after a long battle with his mental health including a breakdown with his marriage at the time, alcohol abuse and an experience of wanting to end his life at the River Bann but he choose to go back to his parents and ask for help.

Unfortunately Lee faced another turn for the worse with his mental health when he lost his mum suddenly in 2017 from a sinus infection but then found understanding and realisation on what he wanted to do to improve his life and in 2020 completed A levels in Psychology along with Anatomy & Physiology and through his current studies with Communication & Counselling he hopes to further understand why people behave the way they do and develop further mental health coping skills. 

Lee runs an Instagram page (@mentalheathbylee) where people can feel safe, comfortable and he has created a place where individuals can share their concerns as he feels this would have helped him when he was struggling. Lee has recently connected with (@glow_ni) who are a Belfast Charity who give life & opportunities to women through mental health & well being programmes. Through their collaboration together Lee has created a mental health clothing brand (real.and.raw) which supports the work that (@glow_ni) does and through this Lee hopes to further break the stigma around mental health.

Lee now uses fitness to overcome his difficulties and enjoys pushing his body through new limits. Lee uses his voice and shows people out there who are suffering that it is possible to live again and is excited to be an ambassador for The Flawed Journey to open up further conversations around mental health struggles.

Find out more about Lee here or check out his clothing line here.

AOIFE TURNER

Aoife joined The Flawed Journey as a Mental Health Ambassador in March 2021. Aoife is from Newry, Northern Ireland and recently graduated from Ulster University in 2020. Aoife is currently working full time as a Business Analyst.

 

Aoife's passion for helping those suffering from mental health has grown stronger over the years, partly because she has had her own personal experience. With Aoife based in Northern Ireland and understanding that NI have the highest suicide rate within the UK is terrifying. Aoife wants to help those struggling with their mental health in any way she can.

 

Aoife says when she is struggling with anxiety and panic attacks she finds meditation and sharing her experience to friends and family has been increasingly helpful for her. Aoife is a bubbly person who is easy to talk to and hopes that her nature will make it easier for people to reach out to her when they feel they need help. 

Aoife feels that there isn't enough informative resources that people struggling with mental health can access, which is why she feels honoured to be a Mental Health Ambassador for The Flawed Journey. Aoife advises being a part of a team that give accessible and affordable services for those struggling is something she will take pride in.  

Connect with Aoife here.

JOHN SHANAHAN

John joined The Flawed Journey as a Mental Health Ambassador in March 2021. John is an Irish expat currently living in Sydney, Australia. John completed a three year bachelor degree in social and community studies in LIT Thurles prior to making the move abroad.

 

John has always enjoyed helping people which is his main reason for pursuing a career in social care. John is currently working as a disability support worker, assisting individuals in the community with physical, intellectual and mental disabilities.

 

John is extremely passionate about working with individuals towards improving their mental health. John feels nowadays, people aren’t aware of the resources out their that are available for people struggling with their mental health.

 

John's aim as an ambassador for The Flawed Journey is to make individuals aware of the resources and help available, especially males. John wants to show individuals what you can also do yourself, to promote resilience and improve your overall mental health.

 

John finds sport / exercise helpful to maintain his mental well-being. John advises how sport, being active and challenging himself, really allows him to build a strong mindset and helps him to overcome the challenges of everyday life, as well as future obstacles that may come up. 

 

John is excited to have the opportunity to be a mental health ambassador and looks forward to the fantastic opportunities it will bring for him as well as offering amazing services to his family, friends and followers who are struggling at this time with their mental health. As an ambassador, John would love to promote sport workshops alongside the other community of ambassadors. John is looking forward to the experience and meeting new people along the way.

Connect with John here.

RIADH EGAN

Riadh joined The Flawed Journey as a Mental Health Ambassador in March 2021. Riadh is a mummy from Letterkenny in Ireland and is currently studying an MSc in Public Health Nutrition. Riadh completed a BSc in Food Science and Nutrition and combined her knowledge of mental health with her studies and developed a nutrition plan which aids mental health “Food4Thought”.

Riadh suffered from anxiety since childhood and is on a mission to be the person that her younger self needed. Riadh's panic attacks went un-diagnosed for years until they became too overwhelming to handle during her college years, which led to a diagnosis of anxiety, PTSD and a panic disorder.

 

Riadh wants to share her message and have individuals understand that "we shouldn’t have to reach “rock bottom” before being taken seriously with our mental health."

 

Riadh believe's that to combat our mental health there are a number of steps to do so, including nutrition and she hopes to educate individuals on how nutrition can impact our mental state.

Riadh understands how important a self care routine is as it's something that’s really helped her overcome days her anxiety is heightened. Riadh's self care routine involves eating correctly, taking her vitamins, exercise in the form of yoga or the gym, fresh air, reading and journaling. Riadh also enjoys baking in her spare time.

Riadh is extremely excited to be an ambassador of The Flawed Journey. Riadh is passionate about The Flawed Journey's mission of breaking the stigma behind mental health, removing the clinical aspect and making it a more comfortable and approachable space to seek help.

Connect with Riadh here.

EMMA HAUGHEY

Emma joined The Flawed Journey as a Mental Health Ambassador in March 2021. Emma is from Armagh in Ireland and is currently a student at Ulster University and during her placement year she worked for the University running their mental health initiative "Mind Your Mood". During this time Emma received a lot of mental health training and created and ran workshops to help break the stigma surrounding mental health among students.

Emma is really passionate about mental health and openly talks about her own mental health experiences to help break the stigma. Coming from a small rural village in County Armagh she found that the topic of mental health was not really a comfortable conversation. When she was suffering with poor mental health as a teenager she felt very isolated as no one around her talked about mental health. 

Emma felt as though there was something wrong with her as everyone else seemed to be getting on with life fine and she found the “easy” everyday things very difficult. At 17 she was diagnosed with clinical depression and at this time she felt very hopeless. With the support of her family she went to therapy and counselling and started to get her life back on track. Through therapy she was able to take back control of her life and her mental health and now feels stronger than ever.

 

Emma enjoys doing creative things like writing, painting, knitting, embroidery and creating content for her Instagram page (@flipthescriptni). Emma is a huge bookworm and loves reading self help and development books as well as gripping novels. One of her favourite ways to de-stress is to pet her two cats Kai and Boo.

 

Emma's favourite TV shows are Friends, Modern Family and her comfort movie is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Emma’s favourite quote is by Albus Dumbledore “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light”.

 

Emma now has her own Instagram page @flipthescriptni were she shares her mental health story and informative content in the hope it will make other people feel less alone. The page was named “Flip The Script” as she felt this is what she did with her life – she flipped the script of her life by rewriting it.

By being an ambassador of The Flawed Journey Emma hopes to share with individuals across Northern Ireland, the amazing benefits of therapy and break the stigma around going to therapy. Emma is excited to join a team of people who are also passionate about mental health. Emma runs and manages The Flawed Journey monthly newsletter campaign.

Connect with Emma here.

LEAH MCAVOY

Leah joined The Flawed Journey as a Mental Health Ambassador in March 2021. Leah is from Newtownabbey in Northern Ireland and sees herself as being a creative and adventurous person, who also loves to wind down with a good self-development book, her journal and a cuppa.

 

Leah graduated with a masters in Marketing from Queen’s University Belfast at the end of 2019 and worked for a year in digital marketing. Leah shares how the last year has been a very uncertain time and she has went through changes in which have effected her work and personal circumstances, Leah advises that she has been recently struggling with the stress surrounding the change the pandemic has brought upon us and says that it has brought up further anxiety for her. 

 

Leah says, in the midst of the confusion and uncertainty, it’s also given her time to build a deeper connection with herself and opportunity to find a purpose. Leah says her purpose is to promote a positive message around mental health and provide helpful tips and resources.

 

Leah loves using her creativity and enjoyment for writing to do this over on her Instagram page @catchingthoughtsblog. As well as sharing her own personal experience with anxiety, to help break the mental health stigma, especially here in N.Ireland, with the highest suicide rate in the U.K. Leah says that she would feel honoured to continue to break this stigma as an ambassador for The Flawed Journey. 

 

Leah has found doing sessions with The Flawed Journey extremely helpful for her anxiety, and she wants to normalise and promote therapy as a helpful tool for continuing to check-in with your mental well-being. Leah wants to help in making it more accessible as the resources here in N.Ireland are limited. Leah feels passionate about mental health education and in learning the coping tools to prevent further struggles. Leah would take pride in being part of the work at The Flawed Journey in providing informative resources to increase the awareness and knowledge for managing our mental health to those in Northern Ireland.

Connect with Leah here.

SEAN RYAN

Sean joined The Flawed Journey as a Mental Health Ambassador in April 2021. Sean is 19 and is from Cork, Ireland. He is currently studying Social Care and is working part-time supporting adults with intellectual disabilities. Sean has a huge passion for breaking the stigma and promoting the importance of mental health.

 

Sean battled with his sexuality of being gay for many years, in which he describes was a traumatic period of his life where he also had to experience the loss of a best friend to suicide.

 

Sean found himself in a very dark place, he thought there was no way out and suffered hugely from depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. However there was hope and with a lot of therapy he recovered from this horrible mental illness.

 

Sean says he still struggles on a day to day basis but life is good and there really is light at the end of the tunnel. Sean's aim is to eradicate the stigma and voice how "it's okay to speak about your journey just if we were physically sick we would talk about it with people so the same should apply when were mentally suffering."

 

Sean really enjoy's meditation, breath-work and has a caring nature for supporting & looking after others. Sean loves listening and reading spiritual self development books and podcasts. His favourite things to do on a daily basis is to mediate, journal and practice gratitude. 

 

His aim is to spread awareness to all groups and ages and to let people know its okay to reach out, in hope to break the stigma surrounding attending therapy and to help people understand that reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of growth. Sean has recently created an Instagram page where his aim is to promote what is working for him day to day to maintain his mental health and to keep him on track. 

By spreading his story and speaking up about mental illness, Sean hopes to inspire or reach someone who is now in his old shoes and to let them know it will be okay. 


By being an ambassador for The Flawed Journey, Sean hopes to spread awareness to his wider community and individuals across Ireland of the amazing benefits of therapy and to break the stigma around going to therapy. 

Connect with Sean here.

HANNAH HASSON

Hannah joined The Flawed Journey as a Mental Health Ambassador in April 2021. Hannah is from Newry in Northern Ireland and is currently training to be a Counsellor through studying MSc Counselling and Therapeutic Communication at Ulster University.

Hannah's passion for mental health stems from both her knowledge around mental health as well as her own experience with her mental health. During secondary school, Hannah struggled a lot with low self-esteem and self-harming behaviours. Hannah didn’t know who to turn to for support as she explains "we weren’t taught about mental health and our school didn’t have a qualified counsellor to speak to."

 

This experience sparked her interest in Psychology and the relationship between our minds and behaviours. Hannah went on to study BSc Psychology at QUB and in her final year of university, she began to struggle with her mental health again. Hannah felt really lost and anxious about the future and lost a lot of confidence in herself and instead of talking about it, she now recognises that she just kept herself busy and bottled it up for a long time.


The following year Hannah developed guttate psoriasis as a result of stress. This was a wake up call for Hannah because she could physically see the impact mental health was having on her. Hannah then knew she needed support, so she started accessing counselling. Attending Counselling gave Hannah the opportunity to explore the thoughts and feelings she had been struggling with for some time.


Hannah hopes that by working as a counsellor, she can support other people who are struggling with their mental health. Hannah is also really passionate about improving the mental health support available for children and young people, particularly in Northern Ireland.


Hannah enjoys hiking, photography, and cooking. She has also become really interested in reading books and listening to podcasts about mental health and mindsets – this helps to inform her counselling practise but also supports her own mental health.


In September 2020, Hannah combined her love of writing and photography to create her Instagram page - @thats.so.mental - she wanted to create a safe space for people to share their experiences with their mental health and any tips they had on looking after their mental health. Hannah says it's been amazing to connect with other people who are passionate about mental health and she hopes that her page can act as a useful resource of support and information for anyone struggling with their mental health.

 

Hannah is really excited to be an ambassador for The Flawed Journey. She feels it is so important that we make counselling services more accessible so that people can get support when they need it. Hannah hopes that, with the rest of the team, she can promote more open conversations about mental health and raise awareness of the benefits of counselling.

Connect with Hannah here.

SELINA CASEY

Selina joined The Flawed Journey as a Mental Health Ambassador in April 2021. Selina is from Rasharkin, Northern Ireland and has worked in the public sector for over 20 years and currently works as Mental Well-being at Work Advisor.

 

Selina discovered her true passion for mental health approximately 4 years ago by engaging with employees and realising that a high percentage of staff in her own work area were struggling with their own mental health with little to no support. Through delivering suicide prevention programs and lending a listening ear, Selina realised that she could make a difference and so started on her training to become a therapist.

 

Selina is currently in the third year of studying counselling and is about to start her place as a trainee therapist, Selina is passionate about breaking the stigma associated with both baby loss and suicide. From experience, Selina has found that many people don’t want to talk about these issues, or just don’t know what to say – her aim is to end the silence on both.

Selina believes that the power of listening and the simple act of being present for someone is underrated and hopes that her ambassador role with The Flawed Journey will enable her and the other team members to help and support people from NI and beyond.

Connect with Selina here.

ROB DUDGEON

Rob joined The Flawed Journey as a Mental Health Ambassador in May 2021. Rob is from the heart of Ireland, a place called Ballinasloe, Co. Galway.

 

Rob has struggled with quite severe anxiety and also depression for most of his life, diagnosed at 18 and at times being unable to leave his room for months at a time.

 

Many years later, time/opportunities lost, hard experiences gained. Rob feels like it's gone in a blur with no real feeling for life or emotion. Coming into the start of this pandemic, Rob had the mother of all lessons as he lost a soulmate, pushed people away and hit rock bottom.

 

From here Rob had 2 choices, let it finish him off for good or use it as fuel to leave no stone un-turned and through friends realise the thing that had been missing all along and sourced his own therapist. Rob had little to no experience of therapy when seeking help, however sometimes it takes tough lessons to fully throw yourself into the process and open up about the hurt and feelings that have been buried inside all my life.

 

Rob mentions that through the years he has found his obsession with football - Liverpool and in recent years exercise which he pursued as a career 2 years ago. Through this space Rob has been sticking with his therapy weekly long term and completely opening up, he has found countless other tools to use and become so much more aware and in control of his mental health.

 

Rob uses journalling and breathing/mindfullness daily as put of a practice that has also been immensely helpful for him along with time outdoors, nature, running and sea dipping.

 

Rob has an aim to have a positive impact on other people while also maintaining a better relationship with himself. Rob is passionate and so grateful to get involved in worthy causes and communities to help younger people get the help they need to get their lives back in their hands as he feels it is something he didn't have the resources that he needed or was aware of.

 

Rob also wants to make people feel like they are not alone, that struggles are not  a life sentence and you can live the life you have in mind with the right help and action. Things need to change in this country, more accessible and affordable avenues and better funding and education. Here's hoping I can do my bit by being an ambassador with The Flawed Journey.

Connect with Rob here.

COURTNEY CAMPBELL

Courtney joined The Flawed Journey as a Mental Health Ambassador in June 2021. Courtney is from from Armagh City in Northern Ireland.

 

Courtney completed applied psychology MSc in 2018 after finishing in psychology undergraduate in 2017. 

 

At a young age, Courtney struggled with depression & self harm tendencies which led her to seek her own counselling and inspired Courtney to go into psychology and counselling as a career.

 

One of the many reasons that led Courtney to go down the path of studying Psychology was due to the fact that the mental health crisis in Northern Ireland is growing worse every day especially for our young people. Courtney has previously volunteered with the Dunlewey Addiction Services in Belfast which deals with alcohol, drugs & gambling addiction. 

 

Courtney loves travelling and visiting new places. Before COVID emerged, Courtney had spent 7 months in Australia visiting Cairns, Melbourne & Tasmania and has just recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Emily in March 2021. 

 

Through being an ambassador for The Flawed Journey I want to raise awareness and help people understand that they are not going through anything alone. There will always be help available and resources to help them take that first step and continue their journey. 

Connect with Courtney here.