A step in the right direction against depression stigma

Randalstown student Michelle Dowd with Kieran Hughes, Fundraising Officer with Aware
Randalstown student Michelle Dowd with Kieran Hughes, Fundraising Officer with Aware

Walkers from across County Antrim are being encouraged to sign up for a brand new fundraising challenge to help people affected by depression.

Antrim Castle Gardens and Clotworthy House is the location for next month’s 5k sponsored walk in aid of local charity Aware Defeat Depression.

The walk will take place on Saturday, August 16 at 2pm from Clotworthy House. Every penny raised at the event will go to Aware Defeat Depression’s services and education programmes for people affected by depression.

The charity has a network of 22 support groups in towns and cities across Northern Ireland as well as a helpline. They also run education programmes, including the Mood Matters programmes which is delivered to young people in schools and other community settings.

The event is being organised by Randalstown student Michelle Dowd.

“There is still a lot of stigma attached to mental illness and depression and that is why I am organising this sponsored walk,” she said.

“By raising money and increasing awareness of the work that Aware Defeat Depression do I hope to try and help break down that stigma. There is also a clear link between exercise and good mental health and that is why I would encourage everybody to sign up for this walk.”

Kieran Hughes, Fundraising Officer with Aware, said money raised at the event will help them continue providing vital help and support.

“Every penny raised from the walk events will go towards helping the increasing number of people suffering from depression in Northern Ireland,” he said.

“I would like to thank Michelle Dowd for organising this event and I would encourage anyone who is interested to sign up today.”

To register for the sponsored walk and for sponsor forms contact Michelle on michelle.dowd@rocketmail.com or phone 07513216201.

If you would like to find out more about Aware Defeat Depression please visit their website at www.aware-ni.org.

Anyone affected by depression, including those who experience depression or the family and friends of those who experience depression, can get advice and support on their helpline by phone 08451 20 29 61 or email help@aware-ni.org.