Mary Cronin is a PhD Scholar working on the CHERISH (Community Health-BasEd AppRoach to Improving CarerS’ Health and Wellbeing) project. Mary holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree in Applied Psychology from the University of Derby as well as a postgraduate Diploma in Adult Guidance Counselling from Maynooth University. Prior to commencing her PhD, Mary provided career counselling services to adults and third level students through her own private practice and on a contract basis at National University of Ireland, Galway. She also worked in homeless services for several years where she was responsible for sourcing and placing volunteers in front line services. Mary has previously researched the impact on mothers, of raising a child with a disability and it was through this research and her own experiences as a carer, that she became interested in further exploring caring as a research topic.
The CHERISH project explores how carer needs can best be supported by health care professionals (HCPs) in the community. The research, supervised by Professor Sinead McGilloway, Centre Director, aims to raise awareness of carer needs among HCPs, whilst addressing underlying issues such as stigma, carer Identification and gender.
Specifically, this project aims to:
1) explore how carers are experiencing access to supports in their community in relation to their own health and wellbeing with a particular focus on psychological barriers to help seeking such as perceived stigma of the caring role, identity and gender
2) examine the process by, and the extent to, which HCPs support the identification, health and wellbeing of carers; and
3) to develop and pilot test a training/intervention that can support HCPs to better identify and support carer health and wellbeing.