Why work with the Freeman Health Group?
The Freeman Health Group was founded by internationally-acclaimed mental health activist and founder of Pieta House, Joan Freeman. An experienced, driven, and passionate mental health activist with almost 20 years of experience, Joan is known nationally and internationally, originally as a social entrepreneur, having grown Pieta House into one of the leading mental health organizations in Ireland with over 180 employees, then more recently as a Senator in Dáil Eireann and Presidential Candidate.
By working with the Freeman Health Group, your company and employees will benefit from the knowledge and experience of our expert team led by Joan Freeman.
Chairperson of Future Mental Health Committee
In 2016, Joan’s calibre as a national leader in mental health was recognized by being nominated by the Taoiseach to become a Senator in Seanad Eireann as a voice for mental health in Ireland. Not only did this role include highlighting issues through all media platforms but also led to being elected as Chairperson of the Joint Oireachtas Committee of Future Mental Health and successfully delivered two pieces of important legislation to positively impact mental health practices in Ireland.
"A trusted, credible professional with excellent communication and delivery skills"
Joan is driven and detail-oriented with the ability to thrive in high-pressure environments. During her time at the helm of Pieta House, Joan pioneered the launch of the now globally-renowned Darkness Into Light movement which has raised over €25 million to support those who suffer from suicidal ideation, self-harm, and those who have been tragically bereaved by suicide. Joan’s ability to garner such steadfast support and unwavering loyalty to this singular objective is second to none. Her charisma and passion have helped communities – and countries – to come together to support an often heavily stigmatised cause.
Joan's Professional Experience
Senator at Seanad Eireann May 2016 — March 2020
Nominated by the Taoiseach to represent the voice for mental health in Ireland. This not only included highlighting issues through all media platforms but also to lobby within government. Nominated to Chairperson of the Joint Oireachtas Committee of Future Mental Health and successfully delivered two pieces of legislation through the Seanad.
CEO at Solace House Inc., New York, January 2015 — December 2017
Successfully established and launched Solace House, a suicide and self-harm intervention service. Originally for the undocumented Irish but it quickly developed into a service for all. The first center operated in Queens, New York and a second center was opened in Yonkers, New York. Delivered this service in the US as the first international suicide prevention charity, and with great support from key political and business leaders in the US and Ireland.
Founder of Darkness Into Light, a worldwide movement, 2009 - 2015
In the space of only a few short years, Joan grew a small gathering of early-morning walkers into a global gathering of hundreds of thousands of people. Since she began Darkness Into Light, it has raised a staggering €25 million to support those who suffer from suicidal ideation, self-harm, and those who have been tragically bereaved by suicide. Joan’s ability to garner such steadfast support and unwavering loyalty to this singular objective is second to none. Her charisma and passion have helped communities – and countries – to come together to support an often heavily stigmatised cause.
CEO/Founder at Pieta House, Nationwide, January 2006 — January 2015
Created and established Pieta House, a charity that offers free support and counselling to people who are in suicidal crisis or who engage in self-harm. Sat at the helm of the business for 9 years where an additional 9 centers were opened throughout the country. The organisation grew in capacity and employed over 180 people by 2015. The service became nationally renowned, and internationally known for the annual walk, Darkness into Light which has since developed into a global movement.
Achievements & Awards
• Published Author – “Cover Up:Understanding Self-Harm”, 2010
• Pioneered the international flagship event for Pieta House, ‘Darkness into Light’
• Recipient of ‘People of the Year Award’ (2011)
• Recipient of the Top 25: Ireland’s Most Powerful Women Awards (2018)
• Recipient of the Top 25: Ireland’s Most Powerful Women awards (2018)
• Trailblazer Award’ (2016)
• ‘SHEMAZING Special Recognition Award’ (2016)
• Tatler ‘Woman of the Year’ (2016)