Donegal artist covers nearly 60km so far, in walk for mental health awareness

Peadar McDaid will cross the county in the coming days

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Donegal artist covers nearly 60 miles in walk for mental health awareness

Peadar McDaid, on day one of his walk.

Letterkenny artist Peadar McDaid has walked nearly 60 kilometres in the first two days of his eight-day trek across Donegal to raise awareness of mental health and the mental health services available in Donegal.

Peadar’s 150-mile Mental Health Awareness Walk aims to challenge people to think differently about their mental health, and to remind them that something as simple as getting outdoors and walking can be a great help in improving mental health.

He started his walk in Donegal town yesterday, Wednesday, and walked 30km to Glenties. In today’s warm sunshine, Peadar walked 27km from Glenties to Dungloe.

Tomorrow, Friday, Peadar will walk from Dungloe to Gortahork.

Peadar McDaid, during the first day of his eight-day walk. Photo: Brian McDaid

With May being Green Ribbon Month, the mental health charity, Grow, is urging Donegal people to seek support if they are struggling with any aspect of their mental health and well-being.

Grow, which holds free weekly mental health support meetings across County Donegal, is among the partner organisations of the Green Ribbon campaign, which is aimed at promoting open conversation of mental health and challenging the stigma of mental health problems.

Grow holds 120 peer-support group meetings in communities across Ireland each week, including Dungloe, Letterkenny, Buncrana, Stranorlar, Donegal town, Carndonagh and Killybegs.

Grow meetings are free to attend and open to people over age 18. For more information on Grow meetings, visit the website, www.grow.ie.

Free green ribbons are available at Citizens Information Centres or at the Grow office on Pearse Road in Letterkenny.

Peadar’s walk takes him from Dungloe to Gortahork tomorrow, May 26th; from Gortahork to Fanad Lighthouse on Saturday, May 27th; from Ballygorman to Carndonagh on Sunday, May 28th; from Carndonagh to Moville on Monday, May 29th; from Moville to Burt on Tuesday, May 30th; and from Burt to Letterkenny on Wednesday, May 31st.

Peadar, on the road. Photo: Brian McDaid

During the walk there will also be activity and engagement between schools, communities and service providers, “so we get the message out to as many local people as possible that help is out there, and there are ways in which you can also help yourself,” Peadar said.

The walk is being held in conjunction with Mental Health Ireland, local service providers, the Green Ribbon project and HSE Health Promotion, and with support of the wider community.