72 year old from Limavady to walk 72km

Retired primary school teacher Evelyn McGettigan is walking 72km this month in aid of local mental health charity AWARE NI.

By Conor McClean
Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 12:57 pm

Evelyn developed depression 43 years ago and says her personal experience has inspired her to take on the challenge.

“My illness started with postnatal depression after my first daughter was born.” she said.

“Following the birth of my second child, life had become busy and stressful, and I then had a hospital admission after being diagnosed with acute clinical depression.”

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Over the next 40 years, Evelyn experienced several difficult periods with depression, resulting in numerous hospital admissions. Following her most recent hospital stay in 2007, Evelyn joined AWARE’s local support group and has attended ever since. She believes that there is a stigma around mental health.

“The support from the AWARE group has been a lifesaver.” she said. “I could sense that those there were very understanding and compassionate. I continued to attend AWARE’s support meetings as even though my depression had improved, it was still beneficial to me knowing that others understood what I was going through.

“Any form of mental illness can affect people in different ways, and if you have never suffered, it is very difficult to understand what someone is going through.”

To find out more information about AWARE and their support group, please visit the website at www.aware-ni.org.