“Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope” writer Stefanie Preissner has been praised for her thought provoking conversation on The Late Late Show.
The Cork native sat on a panel with Dublin GAA hero Philly McMahon and "Love/Hate" actor John Connors.
Hopefully with his tongue firmly in cheek, host Ryan Tubridy introduced the trio as members of the snowflake generation who were keen to talk about the most prevalent issues Irish people in their 20s and 30s are currently facing.
The topic of mental health was notably on the agenda - unsurprisingly. After all, Preissner's hit show "Can't Cope, Won't Cope" deals with the issues of social pressures and alcoholism for a young woman, Connors has spoken at length about suicide amongst Irish Travellers, and McMahon lost his brother to heroin addiction in 2012.
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Preissner took issue with the widespread use of the term snowflake as applied to her generation.
"We were raised to express our feelings, to talk about our emotions," she said. "When we were upset to say it, when we were anxious to say it. Even to not accept terrible behavior from teachers or coaches; to speak out. That was how we were raised. And then we do it, and we are introduced as snowflakes."
I agree so much with Stephanie Preissner. We're all encouraged to talk about mental health but then told we're too sensitive (though I'm 10 years too old to be classed as a milennial!) #LateLate— Caroline Tiernan (@CaroTiernan) September 14, 2018
She continued, "We are too sensitive, and yet we are the first generation that have been allowed to be sensitive. Until we stop calling people overly-sensitive or snowflakes when they do try and express their feelings, people are of course going to not say how they actually feel and mental health is still going to be an issue."
Preissner's poignant statement on how imperative it is to foster a sense of mental wellbeing at all ages in life sparked a huge clap from the audience.
"Mental health is a spectrum, you know. Everyone has health. Sometimes you are in good health and sometimes you are in poor health, and mental health is the same, yet we seem to only treat our mental health when we are in crisis," she noted.
"I would love to see it that as a child you have a dentist, you have a doctor, and you have a therapist. You go when you need to, you check in and have regular check ups so it’s not this absolute crisis that happens in your early 20s when you just can’t deal with it," she said.
Well done @StefPreissner & @PhillyMcMahon on being such great role models for not drinking #LateLateShow Really need to be able to have mature conversation about the link between mental health & alcohol addiction for all our communities. #latelate— Dervs (@creevylea) September 14, 2018
The teetotaller also spoke about the terrifying "epidemic" we are "sleep walking" into as regards children and their use of the Internet/social media.
"Whatever about us being able to cope with what we see on Instagram, this is the first time in living history that...there’s no template or advice to give to young people," she said. "For example, my mam would say to me, 'Don’t put your hand on the oven - it’s hot, you’ll burn yourself - I know because it happened to me.'"
"We have created the Internet, we have created social media, we have handed it to children and we’ve no idea what it’s like. We objectively have no idea what it’s like to have our childhood games infused with pornography, we do not know what it’s like to be decorating a cake on an app, or playing Minecraft and have a text box pop up and have a grown man ask us what we look like. We just do not know, and it’s happening now - and I don’t know how it’s going to play out, but something has to happen."
Preissner insisted that it's imperative that parents take control and spend time on the apps/sites that their children use in order to understand what they are dealing with.
For more, see the episode on RTE Player here.