Promoting mental health across Donegal

Artist Peadar McDaid is to walk from Moville to Burt today, on day seven of his eight-day trek.

Carolyn Farrar


Carolyn Farrar


Promoting mental health across Donegal

Peadar McDaid, during his walk on Monday. Photo: Brian McDaid

The rain hasn’t stopped Letterkenny artist Peadar McDaid, as he continues his Mental Health Awareness Walk across Donegal.

Peadar walked 19km yesterday despite the wet weather, trekking from Carndonagh to Moville.

He is to visit Serenity House in Moville at 9am this morning, before beginning today's leg of the walk, from Moville to Burt. Peadar plans to finish his eight-day walk in Letterkenny tomorrow afternoon, at the ArtCo Gallery on the Pearse road.

Peadar began his 150-mile/241-kilometre walk in Donegal town last Wednesday. It has already taken him from Donegal town to Glenties, Dungloe, Gortahork, Fanad Lighthouse, Ballygorman, Carndonagh, and Moville, with different groups and individuals joining him on different parts of the journey.

The goal of the walk is to make people aware of the mental health services that are available in Donegal and also to promote the value of walking and activity for mental health.

“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.

Peadar has posted to his Facebook page photos he has taken during his walk that show some of the beautiful scenes he has encountered on the roads and byways he has walked this past week.

“Even in bad weather it can look beautiful,” he said. Peadar has been an arts tutor with the Mental Health Services at Create-A-Link Art Studio in Letterkenny for the past 15 years.

He 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, 

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

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

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 

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 the Donegal.

Donegal Social Prescribing supports health and wellbeing by linking people with community-based activities, such as exercise, art, reading or gardening. Social Prescribing is for anyone who feels they need some help to mind their health and well-being, or if they feel isolated, stressed, anxious or depressed.

There are Facebook pages for each of the Social Prescribing programmes in the county: Social Prescribing Bunbeg and Derrybeg; Social Prescribing Project - Glenveagh; Social Prescribing Programme - Donegal town & Pettigo; Social Prescribing Inishowen; Donegal Social Prescribing; Social Prescribing - The Rosses & Fintown area; and Donegal Social Prescribing Ros Goill/Milford/Fanad.