Walk in My Shoes mental health ambassadors joy at graduating
FOUR local students joined over 100 Transition Year students across Ireland in graduating as Walk in My Shoes mental health ambassadors, reports Lauren Castleman.
Aaron Walsh of Rockbrook Park School, Rathfarnham; Blessing Nosa Enabuelele of Adamstown Community College, Lucan; Jade McGovern of Coláiste Bríde, Clondalkin and Vivienne Hannon of St Joseph’s College, Lucan were among the 125 students to graduate in a special online ceremony celebrating the class of 2021-22.
Walk in My Shoes is a flagship education and awareness-raising campaign run by St Patrick’s Mental Health Services.
For more than 10 years, Walk in My Shoes has run a Transition Year Programme that invites over 100 students around the nation to join, promoting positive mental health in schools and communities around Ireland.
The programme runs five times per academic year between October and March, with each programme lasting a week and containing 20 to 25 students.
With the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, the programme moved online, using specially adapted interactive sessions in order to give students a comprehensive and engaging experience.
During their placements, students obtain first-hand insight into how mental healthcare services operate as well as the experiences of those with mental health struggles.
Activities include meeting with mental health clinicians and experts, hearing experiences directly from people who have gone through mental health difficulties, and discussing mental health stigma and ways to combat it. The programme also provides students with a chance to learn about different career paths within the mental health field.
Students were joined in the online graduation ceremony by Walk in My Shoes Ambassador Conor O’Keeffe, who stated: “As someone who has experienced mental health difficulties for many years from my late teens and into my 20s, I know the importance of raising awareness around mental health and reaching out for help when needed, especially among young people.
“The Transition Year Programme is an amazing initiative for students to learn about so many aspects of mental health; from mental healthcare to tackling stigma. Congratulations to all of the participants in this year’s TY programme; it is so encouraging to see a new group of young people that can act as advocates for mental health.”
The graduates now join the over 1,000 student alumni who have completed the Transition Year programme. For more information, visit walkinmyshoes.ie