Megan Hughes from Dundalk Grammar School joined over 100 Transition Year students from across the country recently to celebrate their graduation from St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services Walk In My Shoes Transition Year Programme.
Dundalk student Megan Hughes was the Transition Year (TY) Speaker at the event, alongside TV Personality Alan Shortt and CEO Paul Gilligan.
St Patrick's Walk In My Shoes invited students from all over Ireland to take part in a week long placement hosted by the Adolescent Mental Health team at St. Patrick’s University Hospital. To date almost 500 students have taken part in the programme which is currently in its sixth year.
The programme aims to educate young people about mental health issues and to breakdown the stigma associated with mental illness. All participants will return to their schools as ambassadors for mental wellbeing and share their new understanding of positive mental health by preparing and giving a presentation to their classmates on their return to school.
Sarah Surgenor, Head of Communications and Fundraising at St. Patrick’s said, “Integration of mental health awareness and education plays a significant role in combatting stigma in schools and communities. The interest in this programme is increasing every year, demonstrating a positive attitude towards teaching students about mental health.”
Paul Gilligan, CEO at St. Patrick’s said, “With 75% of all mental health difficulties beginning before the age of 24, it’s crucial that students learn how to manage their mental health and access available supports from an early age. Each year 100 students complete this course and return to their communities with a healthier attitude towards mental health difficulties.”
Guest Speaker for the ceremony and TV Personality Alan Shortt said “This programme goes above and beyond to reach out to young people and I am delighted to be part of this award ceremony. These students are a credit to their schools and are well equipped to become mental health champions in their communities.”
For more information on the Transition Year Programme please visitwww.stpatricks.ie.