Peadar McDaid, on an earlier part of his walk last week. Photo: Brian McDaid
Peadar McDaid has three days to go in his eight-day walk across Donegal to promote mental health and mental health services.
The Letterkenny artist began his 150-mile/241-kilometre walk in Donegal town last Wednesday and is to finish this Wednesday afternoon at the ArtCo Gallery in Letterkenny. He arrived in Carndonagh last night.
Peadar is to head out from Carndonagh at about 10am this morning from the offices of Worklink North West, an HSE Mental Health training and support service. Worklink service members and staff will join him at the start of today’s walk.
His Mental Health Awareness Walk around Donegal also aims to challenge people to think differently about their mental health, and to remind them that something as simple as walking can be a great help to improving it.
“That was whole idea behind it, to make people aware of the services that are available, and that if they just do a wee bit of walking it can help a lot,” Peadar said. He has heard from people in recent days who have said they have been going for walks in their own areas since he began his long walk.
“I’ve always said from the start that if one person gets something out of it, I'll have achieved something,” said Peadar, who for the past 15 years has been an arts tutor with the Mental Health Services at Create-A-Link Art Studio in Letterkenny.
Peadar is to walk from Carndonagh to Moville today, Monday, May 29th; from Moville to Burt on Tuesday, May 30th; and from Burt to Letterkenny on Wednesday, May 31st.
He wanted to thank everyone who has helped in the eight-day effort. His walk has already taken him from Donegal town to Glenties, Dungloe, Gortahork, Fanad Lighthouse and Carndonagh.
"The support is great and keeps me going," Peadar said. He also said the number of people passing who beep the horn and give a wave, "gives you that wee boost to get the foot down and keep moving".
Peadar continues to promote mental health service providers during his walk.
Grow holds free weekly mental health support meetings across Donegal, in 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, visit the website, www.grow.ie.
Solas is a HSE rehabilitation training programme designed to engage people who have been involved with the mental health system in outdoor activities. The basis of the program is walking, talking and listening. Solas is at An tSean Bheairic, Falcarragh, and can be reached at 074 9165058 or www.solasdonegal.org.
Jigsaw Donegal provides a free and confidential support service for young people aged 15 –25, with a drop-in centre on Pearse Road in Letterkenny. Jigsaw Donegal aims to make sure that young people’s voices are heard, and that they get the right support, where and when they need it. Jigsaw Donegal is a partnership between Jigsaw National, HSE and The Alcohol Forum. Jigsaw Donegal is at 074 97 26920 and www.jigsaw.ie.
Worklink North West is a HSE Mental Health training and support service that enables people in recovery from mental ill health through training programmes and person-centred plans, to improve their confidence and self esteem, promote positive mental health and well-being and encourage community integration. Worklink NW has training centres in Letterkenny, Carndonagh and Dungloe and can be reached at 074 9128872 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Good Morning Service is a free telephone link service to older people to promote health and well-being in the home. Older people receive a friendly telephone call on a regular basis from a local volunteer designed to ensure the person is safe and well, and to provide them with information on a range of local services and activities. There are five outreach centres in Donegal.