U2's Adam Clayton gets behind mental health campaign

The U2 bass player, was among a host of Irish celebrities at the launch of the Walk In My Shoes Campaign...

U2's Adam Clayton was joined by fellow Irish celebrities Royseven, The Original Rudeboys and Kathryn Thomas at yesterdays Walk In My Shoes, campaign launch in support of St. Patrick’s University Hospital.

"The idea behind the campaign, which is now in its second year, originated from a young service user at St. Patrick’s University Hospital who said he wished his friends could ‘walk in my shoes’ so they could gain a better understanding of mental health difficulties. Funds raised through Walk in My Shoes, will be used to provide mental health services to vulnerable young adults who otherwise could not afford them. Walk In My Shoes also provides a free support and information phone line and aims to enhance the young adult services at St. Patrick’s University Hospital."

The official Walk In My Shoes day will take place on Friday April 12th.

Speaking at the campaign launch Adam Clayton said, “Growing up is hard enough to navigate without any health issues. Teenagers need a lot of support, and vulnerable teenagers even more so. By helping to give every vulnerable teenager someone to talk to about their concerns, Walk In My Shoes is doing very valuable work. I'm happy to raise awareness and funds and I hope everyone will join me in wearing stylish and mismatched shoes on April 12th."

Keep an eye-out for a forthcoming Hot Press interview with 'Walk In My Shoes' ambassador Adam Clayton. The U2 man spoke about his own personal battles and also updated us on the day job; where just like Bono, he too is confident of an Autumn release for their new record.

Kate Moran, fundraising officer for Walk In My Shoes spoke to Hot Press about the year long campaign and the work that goes on behind the scenes.

"Last year was the first year for the campaign and we got a really good feel for it, so this year it's a full all-year-round campaign. So different things are happening throughout the year: coffee mornings, and there's a celebrity shoe exhibition coming up in March at Fitzpatrick shoes. So we have something happening every month, and there's a lot of work that goes into the campaign."

A new initiative, in addition to the 'Walk In My Shoes' campaign, is the availability of free downloadable mental-health packs. These packs will cover how to deal with a variety of different mental health issues in schools, colleges, and workplaces.

"Adam Clayton is our headline ambassador, so we got a huge amount of coverage from him for the launch yesterday and he's really passionate about the campaign, and he's really supportive, and a lot of people look up to him. But all of our ambassadors are great role-models. The Original Rudeboys met some of our young adults and adolescents from Willow Grove yesterday, and they thought they were fantastic. The same with Alison Canavan who spoke to the young adults too. But everybody has different people that inspire them, so it's great to have them all involved in the campaign."

If you would like to get involved or donate money you can do so in a variety of different ways.

Donations can be made by logging on to the campaign website and hitting the donate button, or by texting SHOES to 57802. While on April 12 which is Walk In My Shoes Day people are asked to wear funky mismatched shoes/runners for the walk to work or college or just going about their daily business. There's also a Get Involved option on the website were people are encouraged to hold their own events.


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