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Emma Farrell

ThesisTitle: The Lived Experience of Psychological Distress: A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Approach.

Supervisor: Dr. Michael Shevlin & Dr. Paula Flynn









Emma Farrell has a B.A. (Hons) in Health Promotion (first class honours) and an M.A. in Education (first class honours), both from Waterford Institute of Technology. In 2006 Emma became a founder member of the Youth Advisory Panel of Headstrong, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health. She later became Headstrong’s first Youth Ambassador, a role that saw her speak both nationally and internationally on the subject of youth mental health. Over the last eight years Emma has been privileged enough to meet and get to know many extraordinary young people with remarkable life stories to share. She felt that these beautifully rich stories were lost in a sea of empirically driven research and service development. In order to tap into the richness of these stories, Emma began to listen to and record the voices of some of the young people she worked with, compiling their narratives in her M.A. research. The power of these narratives spurred Emma to apply for an opportunity to take this work further in the form of a Ph.D. study.

Emma was awarded the School of Education studentship in 2013 and continues to work with Headstrong as part of the Education and Training team. She hopes to complete her research into the lived experience of psychological distress in 2015.


Farrell, E. & Flynn, P. (2014). “You’re being weak, this is weakness”. Shame and the experience of students with mental health problems in higher education in Ireland’. LINK Building bridges between yesterday and tomorrow. Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm University. 13th – 15th May 2014.

Farrell, E. (2013). ‘The Origins and Implications of Psychiatric Classification’. Challenging DSM-V. Trinity College Dublin 8th November 2013.

Farrell, E. (2013). ‘“You’re meant to be having the time of your life”. The experience of students with persistent mental health problems in higher education in Ireland’ (Poster Presentation). Ahead annual conference: Is universal design in education any of my business? Croke Park convention centre Dublin. March 12th – 13th.

Farrell, E. (2013). ‘The experience of students with persistent mental health problems in higher education in Ireland’ (Poster Presentation). Discourse, Power and Resistance (DPR 13). Greenwich University, London. 9th – 11th April 2013.

Farrell, E. (2012). ‘To disclose or not to disclose? Untangling factors influencing employee decisions regarding the disclosure of mental health problems in the workplace’. Ahead – Association for Higher Education Access and Disability. Radisson Blue Hotel Dublin. 12th December 2012

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Last updated 14 March 2014