'Walk In My Shoes' mental health drive


A CAMPAIGN urging people to “walk in the shoes” of a young adult with a mental illness has been launched by well-known figures, including U2 bassist Adam Clayton, snooker player Ken Doherty and hurler DJ Carey.

Walk in My Shoes day calls on people all over Ireland to wear mismatched or unusual shoes on April 26th and to donate € 2.

It will raise funds to support mental health services for young people aged 18 to 25 at St Patrick’s University Hospital, Dublin.

“Money raised will be used to help put young people back on the road to mental health,” Clayton said. Broadcasters John Murray, Brent Pope and Dáithí Ó Sé, as well as publishing entrepreneur Norah Casey of Dragons’ Den, also backed the campaign. The idea originated from a young service user at the hospital who wished his friends could “walk in his shoes” to understand his mental illness.

The transition from adolescence to adulthood is “so much more difficult” with mental health problems, said Mary Connellan of St Patrick’s University Hospital. Three-quarters of mental health difficulties begin before 24, she said. “Early intervention can give people real hope of returning to a normal life,” she added.