‘In August, I tried to take me own life, I felt like life would have been better without me, I felt like I was torturing everybody. I didn’t want to be here.’
A group of young women from Strabane in County Tyrone want to encourage other young people to talk about the positive and negative feelings they experience as they grow up.
Patrice O’Goan, 25 said: ‘We want people to know that positive and negative thoughts are normal but when the negative thoughts take over and start to become overwhelming, then it’s time to talk to someone and ask for help.
‘My mental health problems started when I was 12 or 13, I felt lost, I didn’t know what was wrong with me, and I felt like I was torturing everybody. Six months ago I tried to end it all but with the help of a counsellor and a new programme I enrolled in, I’m now in a good place and doing good things’.
The girl’s story will be broadcast on UTV on Tueday, October 4 from 6pm to 6.30pm.
The group have created a poster with thought bubbles depicting the negative and positive thoughts which young people often experience. They aim to put them up in schools, colleges and youth clubs in Strabane and surrounding areas.
‘I would love people to take away the message that they are not alone, it might feel like it’s hard and unbearable but the days do get better,' said Patrice.
Dr Gerry Lynch, a Consultant Psychiatrist and Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatry in Northern Ireland says: ‘We often talk about adolescent turmoil and it’s almost a universal feeling that adolescents and young people will go through periods where they’ll feel uncertain, when they feel alone or feel very distressed.
‘It’s important to recognise that these in many respects are very normal feelings and just because you feel like that for a period of time it doesn’t mean you’re in any way abnormal or that you are in any way going to develop a mental health problem or mental illness.
‘It’s our job as professionals to try and determine which young people have normal anxiety and normal depression and which young people have more serious anxiety and depression that may need formal help’.
Patrice said; ‘I know that I’m still going to have some hard days and everything’s not going to be easy-peasy but I know that it’s manageable and I will get through it.
‘I’d love to use my experience to help other young people, help them to have somebody to talk to or just know that there’s somebody there that cares enough to help’.
To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.