ANTHONY FOY, DONEGAL



“I really want people to know it’s okay not to be okay. I’m putting myself out there, my mental health out there for everybody to know about it, so that other young people can feel okay about it too. Now I’m sitting at the table with the HSE helping to design mental health services for young people in Donegal.” - Anthony Foy

Anthony is a typical teenager who loves soccer, rap music and tattoos. He has experienced mental health difficulties since his early teens. He struggled in school and spent some time in a mental health unit in a Galway hospital. By the time he finished school he had stopped leaving the house and became very isolated and withdrawn. He eventually connected with local youth mental health services and this has helped him build his confidence and community connections. He has started soccer training and hopes to join the local team. Anthony is passionate about encouraging people to talk about mental health and wants to use his experience to help others. A youth mental health strategy is being developed for Donegal county with support from the HSE and Genio (through the Service Reform Fund). This is a youth-led initiative, which has successfully brought people from across communities and professions together. Anthony is a member of this group and is helping to identify and develop appropriate youth mental health supports in the local area. He is also being supported by the HSE to train in peer mentoring so that he can help other young people going through similar experiences.

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