The programme is now fully booked for 2017-18.

Transition Year Project

Each year, St. Patrick’s Walk In My Shoes Transition Year Programme invites 100 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.

The aim of the course is to educate young people about mental health and career opportunities within the mental health sector directly from clinicians at the campus of St Patrick’s University Hospital.

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.

The project was set up in 2012 to breakdown the stigma of accessing mental health services amongst young people, and has grown over the years to become a comprehensive and worthwhile education course. To date we have welcomed almost 500 students on to the programme from all over the country.

All TY students are eligible to take part in the programme however due to high demand, places are limited and we can only accept one student per school.

About the Programme

The programme has something to offer all students regardless of subject or career interests; however it is a particularly valuable programme for students interested in a career in the health sector, including medicine, nursing, psychology, pharmacy, occupational therapy and social work.

Highlights of the course include;

Observation and participation in a mock multidisciplinary meeting alongside clinicians from our MDT teams;
Cardiac Response Training, after which the student will be awarded a recognised certificate of completion;
Workshops and talks held by Willow Grove Adolescent Unit clinicians in a wide range of areas such as Psychotherapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy;
Mindfulness;
Social Media Training;
A mental health services management workshop presented by CEO Paul Gilligan
Interest in the programme has increased year on year, and feedback has shown that the experience is a positive and lasting one for students. Past students have made positive connections with follow students and staff which have continued long after programme completion. A recent survey of students found that almost all respondents (96%) believed that their experience had been of benefit to them in preparing for a future job or role in the workplace.

How to apply

Applications are open to all Secondary Schools around the country, however due to a high demand, only one student application per school can be accepted. Invitations for applications are sent to schools in August, in advance of the beginning of the school year.

2016-2017 applications are now closed. Applications for the 2017-2018 TY Programme will open in September 2017.

Places are allocated at random, and the remaining students will be placed on a cancellation list. Successful applicants will be advised of their allocated week, unless otherwise requested.

The programme runs for 5 weeks each year, with 20 students partaking per week; two in November, one in January, February and March. The Transition Year Graduation takes place in May, before the end of the school year and family, friends and teachers are welcome to join students for this enjoyable occasion.

***Please note that this is an educational programme focussing on awareness and career options. It is not designed as a therapeutic programme. Parent’s consent must be submitted prior to student placement.

Transition Year Graduation Ceremony

Toward the end of the school year, students are invited, along with their parents and teachers, to the Transition Year Graduation Ceremony. This is a very enjoyable event for students who get to reunite with friends they made on the programme, and receive an official certificate of graduation from St Patrick’s Mental Health Services in addition to a Certificate for a Community Level Certificate for Cardiac First Response from the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council.

Sample Timetable

10.00 – 10.30 Welcome and Introduction to Mental Health
10.30 – 11.40 Walk In My Shoes
11.40 – 12.00 Mindfulness
12.00 –12.30 Lunch at Ridgeways Restaurant
12.30 – 13.20 Career Paths
13.20 – 14.00 Psychotherapy

I found that all staff members were friendly, informative and very positive. Couldn’t believe the incredible atmosphere in the hospital.

We got a huge insight into many professions in the medical field, not only in the psychiatric medical area.

The mock interview was a great …as it showed us how the doctors work with patients

There is a strong stigma around mental health but this placement has made me realise that anyone can be affected by a mental illness and there should be no stigma

I had a basic but stereotypical knowledge of mental health. Now I believe I know more.

I want to be a nurse when I am older and before St Pat’s I never heard of a psychiatric nurse.

I really hope to work in a hospital like St. Pat’s as either a psychotherapist or a nurse. It has really defined my future goals.

TY Programme Student Testimonials

I spoke with a parent just this week whose son was a past student who attended your programme. He has gone back to college to do social work as a direct result of attending St Patrick’s TY programme.

It was not an area they thought of in terms of employment. However, after attending they are now seriously considering it.

I believe it gave them a much better understanding into the whole area of mental health… it also took away the ‘fear’ of what goes on in working in a mental health facility.

As a mother, the week at St. Patrick’s changed my son’s whole outlook on life. Since doing the week he has embraced every opportunity for self-growth.

TY Programme Teacher Testimonials

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