Cathal Gallagher

Mental Health Advocate and Operation Transformation Contestant

Few people have had their lives as closely scrutinised as mental health advocate Cathal Gallagher, but because he shoots from the hip and is so frank about his struggles, he wins over audiences and hearts wherever he speaks.

The openness with which Cathal shared his progress on Operation Transformation 2019, from a man in denial of his problems to one determined to face them, made him a hugely popular leader. But it wasn’t just the weight he lost that inspired people. The way he overcame the challenge of being honest with himself about his mental health offered real encouragement to others to recognize when they are struggling and reach out for help.

In the course of the series, Cathal came to confront his lack of self-esteem and confidence head on, with life-changing results for him and those close to him. Through his motivational talks, he now offers support, direction and encouragement to others who feel lost and unsure of a way forward, particularly men, whom he feels are often reluctant to admit when they’re suffering.

On stage, Cathal is honest and straight talking because he wants to reach as many people as possible, quickly and without fuss. In the schools and other organisations where he has delivered his message, including the HSE, schools and universities and Men’s Shed organisations, people are moved by his story, inspired by the changes he’s made and encouraged to give more time to themselves so they, like Cathal, can find their purpose and live life to the full.

  • Self-care – take time for yourself so you can give time to others
  • Stop apologizing for emotions - you need to confront negative
    feelings to overcome them
  • Give people time and attention – a smile, wink, or nod……a hug,
    hello, or handshake might just be what saves someone that day
  • Let’s be real – show your true self so others can show theirs
  • Change – it’s there if you want to embrace it. Choose it.
  • There is life beyond formal education – every day is a learning
    day. Don’t give up on your dreams at the first hurdle

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