Thankfully, mental health has become less of a taboo subject across this country thanks to the efforts of many activists, high-profile or otherwise.
One of these activists is professional boxer Eric Donovan. The Kildare native has used his platform as a hugely successful amateur, and now professional boxer, to act as an advocate for more open discussions about mental health struggles.
The five-time Irish national champion has recently begun his ‘Hooked on Health’ podcast that sees public figures across several disciplines delve into their struggles in a refreshingly honest manner.
Speaking to KCLR’s Saturday Scoreline, Donovan explained his reasons for taking on the podcast in association with GoLoud.
“I’m in the final chapters of my boxing career so I have to look at other areas that I want to go into after boxing,” said Donovan.
“When I was approached by Go Loud to host the podcast, I just seen it as a fantastic opportunity because I am very passionate about mental health as well.
“I thought the podcast would allow me to connect with people who have battled their own adversity and challenges but managed to turn it around.”
The BearingPoint Health & Well-Being ambassador gave a brief insight as to what listeners can expect to hear when they download the podcast.
He said: “I think the podcast is really interesting and insightful. The conversations are very deep also.
“We talk about the lowest points in our lives and it’s just a frank discussion between two people.
“I think it shows how far we have come in this country that we are now able to have these types of conversations.”
The 35-year-old also gave an exclusive prediction regarding Team Ireland’s medal chances in the ring at this summer’s Olympic Games. He expects there to be huge success at Tokyo 2020.
“I wouldn’t have said that we would have seven going to the Olympic Games a few months ago so we’re already in a good position.
“We’re a very proud boxing nation and I do think we will bring home some medals from Tokyo. I’m going to predict three medals – two from the women and one from the men.”
Donovan was due to fight Mario Alfano in May for the vacant European super featherweight title. However, the bout, that was set to take place in Brescia, Italy, was postponed as a result of a sparring injury Donovan picked up ten days prior to the fight.
The Irish fighter remains hopeful that he will have the opportunity “to make a dream come true” despite the initial disappointment of having to withdraw so close to the fight.
“It was a real devastating blow. I was so close to making a dream come true. I picked up a rib injury in sparring, so I had to pull out ten days before the fight.
“I hope this experience will make me stronger and that when the chance comes around again, I’ll be able to achieve my dream.”
New episodes of ‘Hooked on Health’ are available on all streaming platforms every Thursday morning.