Testimonials from people who attended Winning Minds talks, workshops and events.

Workshops and talks are presented to a variety of groups including parents, educators, students, mental health advocates, schools and young people.

Joseph Barro – English teacher – Mountain Valley High School – California (November 2020 during covid pandemic)


Thank you so much for the Zoom workshop on wellbeing and resilience with my club students the other day.

The Winning Minds Movement has so many principles that I thought were very refreshing and effective for these students.

I love the mix and combinations of using some of your strategies, along with other tools like mindfulness to help these students. I think they will find that the more tools they have in their toolbox to help combat some of the pitfalls of the mind, the better off they will be.

I let Emily and Evelyn know that it would be great to do another session in the future. I thought it was beneficial, and I think the students were engaged as well.

Thanks again. Hopefully we’ll “see” you soon!

Joseph Barro – Supervisor – Mental Health Support Group
Fountain Valley High School- English Department


Dolores Andrew Gavin – Author – Broadcaster – Founder Irish Health Hour – Founder Global Emotional Health Summit *

“Derek gave us great techniques on how to take charge of our minds- and how to manage and change the way we think. He also spoke about how to get your mind onside. I’d highly recommend Derek and his Winning Minds Movement for anyone who wishes to know more about simple ways, and simple interventions to get better results for ourselves”

John Byrne – Lecturer – Institute Technology Blanchardstown

“This week at the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown we had the pleasure to welcome Derek O’Kelly and his Winning Minds Movement.

Derek delivered a very innovative workshop to the 1st year Sports Management and Coaching students, during which he discussed how our minds work, along with how our thought processes develop.

Derek introduced the students to some wonderful coping techniques aimed at developing positive mental health. These strategies, in conjunction with Derek’s sharing of his personal journey, ensured an insightful and memorable learning experience for our students”.

Dr Karl Thomas – CEO Creatovation – Crtical Thinking & Innovation – Supporter & Advocate of Winning Minds Movement

“Derek’s Winning Minds Movement is formed on the premise that an emphasis on wellness from an early age is key to tackling our crippling mental health issue in Ireland.

BY providing parents and educators with information and access to research as well as community support, Derek is aiming to ‘tip the balance in favour of positive outcomes, and reduce the possibilities of mental health problems and the associated collateral damage’

I’m prepared to throw my weight behind this effort, as apart from Derek’s incredible capacity to motivate and inspire people, who could possibly argue with his endeavours that seek to ’empower people with the skills and knowledge to strengthen their minds – and nurture healthy ones in their children’

Ms Tara Healy. Teacher and co organiser of positive mental wellbeing events – St Rapheals Secondary School – Loughrea Galway”

“Thank you for taking the time to visit St Raphael’s College during our Wellness Week which was themed ‘This Is Me- Empower Your Voice’.
We truly appreciate your hard work and dedication, assisting us in our efforts to enrich and empower the lives of our students”.

Treasa Hanniffy –CEO Key To Your Life – Life Coach – Health Promotion – Mental Health Advocate – www.keytoyou.ie

“I attended Derek’s Workshop, and in a short space of time he opened people’s minds as to how powerful our minds are, and how we can benefit from simple techniques.

He used very creative ideas to demonstrate his points, very easy to understand language, and most of all, empowered us that we are all capable of having a mindset for success.

I would recommend this workshop to anyone wishing to learn more about themselves. Or if you are a parent and want tips on how you can use these techniques with the young people in your lives so they can build their mental health and resilience. I advise you to sign up to the next course if you can”.

*Roslyn Park College – Comments/Survey from students

The following comments and survey follows a series of 4 workshops titled ‘Mindset For Success’. The workshops were designed to build confidence and self belief in students.

“I am so happy that this workshop came along at a time that I needed it most. I have a lot of anger with myself and the world after my accident. This course has taught me that I have all the tools that I need inside myself to make a difference in my life. Thanks to Derek for being so inspirational”

“ In the past I would have viewed myself as a failure. I have now changed my views about myself. This course has taught me not to be so hard on myself and to talk to myself positively rather than negatively. Derek has been great. Thank you”.

“I loved everything about the course and I learned so much about how the mind worked. One of my favorite things was that we got to graduate from the course with caps and gowns. This was a very special moment for me as I have never graduated before. Thanks to Derek for all he did for us”.

“I never understood how the mind worked. Now I can finally see my potential to be a really great Chef. Derek has taught me that I can be great at anything I put my mind to”.

“I will focus on my strengths in future instead of always thinking of my weaknesses”

“I enjoyed the sessions. Their should be more of these at every college as young people really struggle with the pressures of society which affects mental health hugely”

“I learned how music can be used for positivity and for different mindsets”

“I am making a commitment to focus on my physical health which can help with my mental health”

“I will use my mind to help control my anger and be more mindful of other peoples opinions”

“Using my mind better will help me be more calmer and relaxed”

“I will be making a positive list to read every day and will be adding to it over time”

“I now realise that I can use my mind to embrace change and become more comfortable when change happens. This will help to calm me and to not become as stressed”

Student evaluation on completion of the workshops

Nine students participated in the workshops:

Eight out of nine students said they felt an improvement in their self confidence

Five students rated the workshop 10 out of 10, and four rated it 8 out of 10

All students felt the workshop had a positive impact on their thought process

All students felt the workshops helped them understand how their brain works

Eight out of nine students said they were more comfortable talking in front of a group

Eight out of nine students said their self esteem had improved

All students said they would recommend the workshops to others

*Roslyn Park College is part of the National Learning Network & Rehab Group. It provides training, education and extra supports for learners with neuordiversity, brain injuries, autisim, cerebral palsy and mental distress.