125 students graduate from Walk in My Shoes Transition Year Programme as mental health ambassadors
Darragh O’Connor of Patrician Academy, Mallow, joined Transition Year students across Ireland this week to graduate as a Walk in My Shoes mental health ambassador during a special online ceremony held to celebrate the class of 2021/2022.
For over 10 years, Walk in My Shoes, the flagship education and awareness-raising campaign of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, has run a Transition Year programme inviting over 100 students from across Ireland to take part each year.
During the programme, students receive first-hand insight into how a mental healthcare service operates and the experiences of those with mental health difficulties. They meet mental health experts and clinicians; hear from people who have gone through mental health difficulties and their experiences of mental health recovery; and discuss mental health stigma and ways to tackle it.
With significant challenges to recruitment noted over the last few years, particularly in the mental health sector, the TY Programme also provides students with a chance to learn about career pathways in mental health and the various opportunities for a career in this sector.
Amanda McArdle, Walk in My Shoes’ Campaign Manager said, “The Transition Year programme gives students a fantastic opportunity to learn from clinical staff here at St Patrick’s Mental Health Services about what it’s like to work in mental healthcare, while also giving them insight into the experiences of those with mental health difficulties. Each programme aims to empower students with the tools to go out and promote positive mental health and wellbeing among their peers and community. It is a privilege to see the energy and enthusiasm that students bring to learning about mental health.”
To date, over 1,000 students have completed the Transition Year programme. For more information visit walkinmyshoes.ie.