Mind Yourself members being interviewed

We were very happy to have our recent film about mental health within the London Irish community featured in The Irish Times, Generation Emigration. You can watch the short film here. A piece by our Head of Services, Brian Hanley, who made the film with support from the Media Trust was also featured, you can read it here. Thanks to Brian and The Irish Times for spreading the word about the work we do here at Mind Yourself!

Lisa Harrison

Our CEO Lisa Harrison was interviewed by the Irish Post, appearing in their 11 February 2017 edition in their “10 Minutes with…” feature:




10 Minutes with…
What are you up to right now?

I am putting together funding proposals for the work of Mind Yourself, the charity where I am CEO. We work to improve the health and wellbeing of London’s Irish Community. It’s not well known among the general population, but while Irish people helped build London and make it what it is, the Irish here also suffer from significant health issues. For one thing, Irish people in London suffer from the highest levels of anxiety and depression of any ethnic group. We aim to address that through our activities and one-to-one support.

Who are your heroes?

I wouldn’t want to choose one: really anyone who stands up for what they think is right, regardless of what it might cost them.

What’s been the best decade of your life so far and why?

The best decade of my life has been the last 10 years. I found the person I want to spend my life with and have done work that I have truly enjoyed. London is a great city to live in, never boring!

What record sends a shiver down your spine?

This may be cheesy but I love the sound track to Moulin Rouge. I pity anyone who has heard me singing along to it though.

What is your favourite place in Ireland?

It’s hard to choose a favourite place, but best time I have had in Ireland in recent years was at a wedding in Kinsale. It’s a fun, pretty town and I love being by the water.

What makes you angry?

Social injustice. I like a level playing field. Everyone deserves a chance.

What book influenced you most?

‘Ed the Big Red Dog’ when I was four – I was amazed to realise I could suddenly read. I haven’t stopped since.

What was the worst moment of your life?

When I lost my mother – but it also helped me learn empathy, so it may have also improved me.

If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?

I wish I had focused on a career working in charities a lot earlier than I did. I feel like I wasted too many years in the private sector!

Can you recommend an interesting website?

I’m afraid I need to do a bit of self-promotion here and recommend my charity’s website www.mind-yourself.org.uk. I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask people to learn more about how they can support our work promoting health & wellbeing for London’s Irish community.

What is the best lesson life has taught you?

That all the tough and unpleasant things eventually pass – you just need to get through to the other side.

What is your favourite film and why?

There are too many to choose a single one – but I do love the films of Wes Anderson, like the Hotel Budapest and the Fantastic Mister Fox. I can watch them over and over.

What do you believe in?

The power of positive thinking. I would really like to believe in karma, but I don’t see it happening anywhere near as much as I would like it to.

What trait do others criticise you for?

Apparently I have a habit of dramatically sighing that I am unable to control! I’m working on learning to breathe properly.

Where do you live and what are the best and worst things about that place?

I live in South London. The best thing about it is all the green spaces and the terrific mix of people and cultures. Plus I get to cross over the river every day to go to work, and admire the ever changing views of the Thames. The worst thing is that it is quite a long way from the Mind Yourself office. I feel like a waste a lot time stuck on crowded trains.

On what occasion is it OK to lie?

To spare someone’s feelings.

What do you consider the greatest work of art?

There are too many to choose from but a little known gem is the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua: the inside is entirely covered with frescoes by Giotto. I recommend it to everyone. It is literally ‘heavenly.’

© Irish Post

The second episode of our Deserted Island Discs project, where Irish men talk about their lives through the music that influenced them, is now online. Listen to DJ Arveene interview beer brewer and food photographer Steve Ryan.

Steve is from Kilkenny and talks about why he still thinks about returning home to Ireland and introduces some of his favourite tracks including music from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and Supergrass.

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