Aware Defeat Depression saved my life - the personal story of one man from Ballynahinch

Aware Defeat Depression saved my life - the personal story of one man from Ballynahinch

Published on Thursday, 19 June 2014

Posted in News

19 June 2014

Depression is an illness that can affect anyone at any stage in their lives. Currently in Northern Ireland, around 13% of adults are living with depression. These statistics are for people who have been diagnosed with depression following a visit to their GP, therefore it is possible that the number of people who have undiagnosed depression is much higher.

Depression is a stigmatised illness and therefore people may not feel comfortable talking about how they are feeling to family and friends. A lot of the time people will be living with the illness undiagnosed and therefore not receiving the appropriate treatment and help they need to recover.


Aware Defeat Depression is a charity local to every community. We run a network of over 20 support groups in cities, towns and villages throughout Northern Ireland. Support Groups welcome people with depression, and those that care for people with depression to avail of peer support from other group members that are experiencing, or have experienced a similar situation. Support Groups are free to attend and you do not need to register, simply just show up. A list of groups can be found on our website by clicking here.


Paul McAlea has used the services of an Aware Defeat Depression Support Group and said that without their help, he wouldn’t be here today. Paul said,


“I was bullied as a young boy at the age of 12 and began to lose any faith I had in myself. Thoughts of suicide were familiar to me. These thoughts continued throughout my teenage years and into my early adult life. Things were tough and life was draining. I was finding it difficult in work and remember feeling anxious throughout my working life.


“I attended the Aware Defeat Depression Support Group in Lisburn in 2011 and I can honestly say that it has changed my life since. After my first meeting, I felt there was finally some hope in my life. I no longer felt like that 12 year old child within.


“I can honestly say that Aware Defeat Depression has changed my life. They have helped me believe in myself and trust other people, an asset I never thought I would possess.”


We work within communities across the country providing education and training programmes aimed at helping people to understand the importance of looking after their mental health. 


Programmes we deliver include Living Life to The Full, Mood Matters in Young People, Adults, Later Years and Pregnancy as well as Mental Health First Aid. Living Life to The Full is a life skills programmes based on the principles of Cognitive


Behavioural Therapy and is particularly helpful for people with mild to moderate depression, low mood or anxiety. Mood Matters are mental health awareness programmes delivered to targeted groups in schools, youth clubs, and work places amongst other community settings.


If you are interested in any of our services or simply want to know more, please get in touch with us today. To speak to someone on the helpline call 08451 20 29 61. The helpline is open from Monday to Friday 9am – 1pm and is a listening ear service to find out more about the services or to find out more information on depression.