Out of Silence is a short film that highlights women’s mental health issues in Ireland. It premiered on the eve of International Women’s Day 2017 and I am honoured to have made a small contribution to the film by highlighting the importance of research, and the need for services and support for older women.

Out of Silence premiered in the beautiful surroundings of Dublin City Hall. Minister for Mental Health and Older People Helen McEntee speaking at the launch said that the film was “an important piece of work for not only bringing to the fore very real issues that need to be heard but humanising them”.

The National Women’s Council of Ireland film includes moving testimonies from Emma Murphy, Beth Anne Linstra Klein and Grace Conway interspersed with comment from a number of experts.

Film makers Cara Holmes and Mia Mularkey were also in attendance.


Photographs by Shauna O’Boyle, full gallery can be viewed here


Every year the Royal Irish Academy and the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland recognise and acknowledge exemplary ideas originating in making a social and economic impact through research innovation in meeting market needs.

This year, the RelAte project led by Dr Sabina Brennan has been short-listed.

RelAte a mealtime intervention that provides nutritional and social support to older adults living alone who are at risk of social isolation

The RelAte research project was carried out in Trinity College Dublin with funding from Home Instead Senior Care Inc.

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Sabina Brennan being presented with SFI Award

Dr Sabina Brennan was presented with a major award at the Science Foundation Ireland Science Summit in November 2016. The award recognises outstanding contribution to the popularisation of science, in particular where it raises public awareness of the value of science to human progress.

Sabina believes that science is for sharing. She translates complex concepts and scientific content into easy-to-understand, practical information. Her aim is to entertain and empower – she believes that once those two elements are in place education is a welcome by-product.

Her projects raise awareness about the importance of brain health and dementia risk reduction covering many aspects of science and human behaviour.

Her work increases the impact and visibility of scientific research adding value at personal, societal and global levels.

Dr Brennan’s animated films have been viewed in 140 countries and are used on 4 continents for education and training in healthcare and advocacy settings. The animations which have been translated into 15 languages have been exhibited internationally in the Washington Science Museum and screened in Brussels as exemplars of innovation for societal impact. In addition to film she has developed a number of websites, print materials and an app which was positively reviewed in the Lancet Neurology and selected as download of the month by the Irish Times in 2016.

Dr Brennan is regularly invited to speak to speak nationally and internationally to diverse audiences on a broad range of topics. She makes the neuroscience of human behaviour very accessible and has been described as a passionate and an inspirational speaker making science fun and fascinating.

Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government of Ireland, Professor Mark Ferguson in his introduction to Sabina told the attendees to take note of and learn from this woman’s achievements. The award was presented by broadcaster and science communicator Jonathan McCrea.

Read more on Silicon Republic: TCD Researcher puts brain health on the map by Claire O’Connell

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