A young Galwegian has lifted the lid on his years of childhood trauma, as bullying forced him to quit secondary school altogether just three weeks after starting – taking him to the brink of suicide when he was just 14.
Chris Sherlock is now building a career for himself as a broadcaster, hosting his Guaranteed Irish show on Flirt FM 101.3, the licensed student radio station at NUIG, every Wednesday.
But to get there, he had to overcome repeated bullying during his First Year at second level; that forced him to leave the school and work towards his Junior Cert with a tutor – until Government cutbacks removed that facility, and left him without the chance to sit the state exam.
He has now contributed his story to a new Galway-published book, Mental Health for Millennials, which is designed to put the spotlight on mental health – particularly among millennials.
The Galway city native doesn’t want to identify the school he attended, but he chronicles in harrowing detail the attacks on him as a new First Year that derailed his first stab at education – within three weeks of starting.
The then-thirteen year old spoke with teen psychologists and therapist – but his sense of despair only seemed to get worse as time rolled on.
“The therapist told me to go for a walk when my anxiety overwhelmed me, and one day, I found myself right to the edge of the Galway Canal,” he says.
“As I stared into its cold waters, I barely recognized my reflection. I felt empty, hopeless and helpless with added feelings of disappointing and embarrassing my parents So much so, suicide seemed a good idea.
“Luckily, two friends saw me and came over. Everyone knew what had happened at that point.
“Instead of asking why I was so dangerously close to the edge of the canal, they asked if I wanted to walk back with them and play videogames. A simple kindness, really, but enough to make me feel connected and accepted.”
He credits the Youth Advocacy Service in the Galway City Partnership with helping him to find his career path at a relaxed pace.
“I think it is essential for people also to know that taking medication to help with anxiety and depression was a tool I used during my teen years as well.
“There is a stigma around taking medication, but I’d rather see people heal than contemplate suicide. Never let medication rule you. Take charge, if necessary. Today, I have learned to trust people again. It has taken time and effort, but the life I now enjoy has been worth it.”
Chris Sherlock tells his story in Mental Health for Millennials, the fourth of seven volumes, edited by Dr. Niall MacGiolla Bhuí and Dr. Phil Noone, dealing with topic such as death, grief, suicide, sexuality, depression and more. It is published by Book Hub Publishing based in Athenry, and is available from Charlie Byrne’s Book Shop in Galway or via www.bookhubpublishing.com
Chris Sherlock On The Wireless goes out on Wednesdays at 4pm, Flirt FM 101.3. Interviews from the show are on the Chris Sherlock On The Wireless Podcast which is available on Spotify, Mixcloud and Apple Podcasts.
The full version of this article appeared in the Connacht Tribune edition of March 26 2021.
Boil water notice issued for Barna area
A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes
The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.
The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.
The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.
Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.
Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.
Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.
In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.
Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised
Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.
A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.
Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.
Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.
Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.
A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.
He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.
Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .
Anger over ANC ‘snip’
ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.
Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.
In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.
Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.
At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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