Supporting mental, physical and emotional wellbeing
Shared by Karen Krawczyk
I was in the kitchen, the radio was on and it was Desert Island discs. A young woman Sinead Burke was choosing her tracks. An articulate, intelligent young woman from Ireland with a lovely voice and a good sense of humour.
On wikkipedia it describes her as a writer, academic, influencer, activist and broadcaster. On the same page it gives her height as 3ft 5 In .
Sinead has Achondroplasia or dwarfism / restricted growth.
Sinead has never let this condition define her. She has attended a New York Met ball, one of the most prestigious events in the New York society calendar and has featured on the front cover of Vogue. She has questioned the fashion worlds definition of beauty and championed for clothing for someone of her stature.
Sinead is passionate about education and educating others and trained to be a primary school teacher. Many were doubtful about whether she could teach given her height and were concerned that she wouldn’t be able to control her pupils. She herself had anxieties , but what she found was:
”I didn’t need to control the pupils I just needed to respect them”
Because she showed respect to them, they in turn showed respect for her.She opens up our minds to see that its not about height or being able to control others that’s important but our relationship with each other and that respect is fundamental.
Her condition is very visible, she openly talks about her anxieties and fears but she challenges attitudes and assumptions about what she can achieve and what role she can play in society.
Mental health is perhaps not so visible, yet within ourselves and in society there may be assumptions and limits about what we can achieve.
Sinead shows great courage in stepping up to be a role model for others who have a visible or not so visible condition and challenges us to consider the limits we may be putting on ourselves and others.
It’s hugely important to have role models who inspire us. They may be someone in our daily lives or someone we have seen, heard or read about.