De Exeter House to hold seminar on mental health in Donegal

As part of the fifth anniversary 'celebrations' De Exeter House is offering a free assessment for people in difficulty to discuss their needs.

By Staff Reporter


By Staff Reporter


De Exeter House to hold seminar on mental health in Donegal

Dr James McDaid

Five years to the day since it first opened a unique local therapeutic care centre that has successfully helped hundreds of people overcome a range of mental health challenges is hosting a ‘celebration’ evening in Letterkenny, later this month.

‘Beyond Defeat’ is being organised by De Exeter House, Termon and will bring people in recovery together to share publicly their experiences with stress, anxiety, depression and alcohol/drug addictions.

The free seminar to all members of the public, takes place at 7pm on Friday, June 30th, in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny and is already filling up very quickly. Due to growing demand for its services De Exeter House has brought together a range of mental health advocates and professionals for the night to provide advice, share information and create awareness.

Since it opened in 2012, De Exeter House, has gained an excellent reputation locally, nationally and internationally for quality professional care and long term positive results.

As part of the fifth anniversary ‘celebrations’ De Exeter House is offering a free assessment for people in difficulty to discuss their needs.

“We feel privileged to serve the local, national and international community, helping to counsel, support, guide and educate people to manage the stress and challenges in their life more effectively,” Ms Angela Maguire, pyschologist and managing director of De Exeter House said this week.

“Whether our clients come for counselling, time out or rehabilitation, our relaxed and professional service is available for everyone, at an affordable cost. We are aware that one size does not fit all. Every client is unique, and our response is individually planned to meet their needs”.

“This year we are excited to begin rolling out our custom services to the corporate sector, and have been approached by companies who are seeking to create custom employee care packages. The key to our success to date is quality and depth of care, not quantity of clients,” Ms Maguire, whose family are from Meenacuing in Dunlewey said.

Noel Cunningham MC

Well known TV3 showbiz guru and General Manger of Harvey’s Point Hotel, Noel Cunningham, will be the M.C for the event bringing his unique flair, words of wisdom and sharp wit to proceedings.

“I see this night being foremost a positive, fun, experience for everyone as part of growing nationwide initiatives to help remove the stigma that still exists around mental health,” Mr Cunningham said.

“We must all share a collective responsibility to break down barriers, assist in any way those in distress, and signpost anyone in difficulty to get the right professional help before it is too late,” he added.

Key speakers on the night will include Andy McLaren, the newly appointed Scottish F.A. Ambassador for mental health. He will share his ‘journey’ to recovery after child sexual abuse, alcohol abuse, depression suicidal thoughts.

The ex-Scottish football international, who played for Dundee Utd, Reading, Patrick Thistle and Kilmarnock, now devotes his time to help under-privileged children in Glasgow.

Andy will share his experience in a presentation around the theme ‘My Desire to End it All, And my road forward to success’.

“I knew I had issues and had to face up to life. The biggest thing was being brave enough to speak to someone and I was lucky to find a psychologist, Angela Maguire. She saved me,” Mr McLaren said.

“McLaren's life is detailed in his autobiography, Tormented, where he chronicles his abuse as a child.

In February 2009 he established an organisation – A&M Training now A&M Scotland ( through which he delivers presentations and talks to young people on his life both in and out of football. In December 2014 the charity was named The Guardian UK Small/Medium Charity of the Year. He will also be joined by well known G.P and former government minister, Dr. James McDaid, who will share his experience around mental health and medicine.

Dr. Mc Daid, and the highly respected and long established Scally Practice in Letterkenny, are the medical services linked with De Exeter House. Dr McDaid is a native of Doon, Termon which in within walking distance of the centre.

Author, Ms. Valerie Farragher (Lifewise) will give an insight into mothers who are suffering from depression and alcohol addiction.

Valerie, has featured in a major RTE documentary sharing her story of how she almost lost her husband, five children, due to alcohol addiction and depression. Valerie is now sober five years and is trying to help other women avoid that terrible fate.

Mark Maguire (30) is a life coach and he will talk about ‘Keeping it Real’. Mark, has helped many young people to find a balance in their lives through their challenges with mental health and addiction problems.

Mark has personal experience of having overcome difficulties in his own life and now seeks to help others do the same.

Alison Devine, will share her ongoing journey and recovery from alcohol addiction. The 41-year-old mother of two young children will speak in a public forum for the first time about her addiction to alcohol in the past.

She will share her experience in the hope other young women suffering with mental health and/or addiction problems will get professional help.

After spending three weeks in De Exeter House in early April, and with the help of Angela Maguire and her team, she has now found an ‘inner peace, balance, and a platform upon which to build a much richer life, free from the grip of alcohol’.

Free refreshments, information packs, brochures will be available on the night along with a ‘goodie bag’ and ‘stress-ball’ for everyone who registers to attend the seminar beforehand on the De Exeter facebook page or on the night.

“We want people to feel at ease in a relaxed, positive and fun setting where they can sit, listen, observe, engage with other people and professionals about their battles with mental health,” Ms Maguire said. For more info about the seminar and the range of all the services available at De Exeter House by calling 074-91-19868 or by checking out the De Exeter House Facebook page. You can also email Angela in total confidence at