Miss Derry Ashleigh: ‘There’s a serious need for mental health facilities’

Miss Derry International Ashleigh Coyle. (Photographer Leisa Smith, hair & make-up by Syenna, stylist Jenny Taggart.)
Miss Derry International Ashleigh Coyle. (Photographer Leisa Smith, hair & make-up by Syenna, stylist Jenny Taggart.)
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Newly crowned Miss Derry International, Ashleigh Coyle, is to climb Mount Errigal in aid of a local charity aiming to set up a mental health facility.

The 21-years-old from Strathfoyle said there was a serious need for such facilities in the city and has teamed up with Me4Mental to raise funds for services through the ‘Climb For Hope’ initiative.

Ashleigh told the ‘Journal’ she began suffering from anxiety after leaving the ‘Big Brother’ house in 2014. Ahead of representing Derry at the UK finals of Miss International in June, she said she plans to use her new platform to further highlight the need for mental health facilities.

She said: “I suffer myself from anxiety and have done so for some time. After ‘Big Brother’ I had been working extremely hard, never took a day off, and just hit a wall. I got really ill.

“I struggled to find organisations focusing on help in terms of direct provision and I want to help fund that and set that up.

“There is a lot of awareness about mental health but there is not the resources we need. If there was what is happening here wouldn’t be happening.

“I’m hoping the whole town gets behind this. I don’t think there is anybody could disagree that there is something needed specifically for this city.”

The founders of Me4Mental have called for a 24-hour safe space for people in distress. Ashleigh and a team will climb Errigal on May 7, and have set up a Go Fund Me page with a target of £1,000. Anyone wishing to join them on the climb can message Ashleigh Coyle via her Facebook page to get a sponsorship form, or to sponsor the group, go to fundrazr.com/01Dv15?ref=ab_e6YZ82.