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On Friday, May 5th, over 90 Transition Year Students from throughout the country graduated from St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services’ Walk In My Shoes TY programme.

The programme saw students experience a week long placement in St. Patrick’s University Hospital, which was hosted by the Adolescent Mental Health team. To date, almost 600 students have taken part in the programme, which is currently in its seventh year.

The placement is designed to educate young people on important mental health issues and to challenge the stigma associated with mental health difficulties.

On completion, participants become mental wellbeing ambassadors and return to their schools and communities with an added understanding of positive mental health. Each graduate delivers a presentation to their classmates to spread their understanding of the importance of promoting positive mental health in school and in their communities.

Paul Gilligan, CEO at St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services said:

Mental Health education and awareness play a significant role in combatting societal stigma. This programme is gaining interest year-on-year and it is fantastic to see students embrace mental health awareness and spread a new outlook in schools and their communities.

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. These students are a credit to their schools and are well equipped to become mental health ambassadors in their local areas.

Guest Speaker for the ceremony and IFTA nominated actress Jordanne Jones added:

It is fantastic that the stigma associated with mental health issues is being challenged and this programme offers young people an added insight into services available.

I was delighted to be part of the ceremony and to see the good work St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services is doing.

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