PadCasting to help others
PASSION Young Killeshandra man tries to promote mental health through his new podcast
A study by the Irish Youth Foundation shows that Ireland will face a mental health crisis as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic if interventions are not made.
“Born and bred” Killeshandra man, Patrick McClean is playing his small part in addressing the problems facing today's youth through his podcast.
The 19 year old is a former student from St Patrick's College Cavan who received predicted grades in 2020.
He said he “didn’t do too bad” in his Leaving Certificate, a modest reply for someone who is heading into his second year of Applied Psychology in Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT).
“Psychology is a topic I’m very passionate about,” enthused Patrick.
He explained his first year in college from home was an “interesting experience”.
“It wasn’t really the full college experience, home is a place that I normally leave school out of,” he said, explaining that he would prefer to leave “the stress of education” out of his room.
“It was hard with some of the modules but the college went a bit easy on us this year with not doing exams.”
He said IADT opted for a continuous assessment system to take pressure off students.
“It’s a more practical way of evaluating how we’re doing during the year.”
With college finished and his final assignments submitted, Patrick found himself at a standstill with no work for the summer due to reduced hours.
Patrick decided to start podcasting to keep himself occupied and set up ‘The PadCast.’
“I started it to keep myself motivated but I found a passion with it linked with my psychology and talking about mental health.”
He explained that the last year has been particularly tough for the younger generation.
“Many people have been affected by mental health with self-isolation and not seeing friends or going out and not being in school.
“I wanted to spread the message that it’s good to talk about your mental health issues.”
Patrick explained that there is a stigma attached to talking about mental health among young people.
Having previously suffered with anxiety and depression, he recalled feeling selfish and worried that he would be a burden to others if he opened up about how he was feeling. He recalled thoughts such as ‘Do people want to listen to me?’
He realised that this is not the case and during his journey in getting to a better place, Patrick said he began appreciating what he had in his life rather than always looking for something different.
He said perspective is very important, noting that at the age of 19 he said he has “barely lived a quarter” of his life.
“I started to love myself for who I am and for the person that I can be,” he said.
Patrick said he is on the better side of his mental health struggles but said “it’s never the end” because life will always throw something at you.
“What I’ve gone through has built me as the person I am today, if I looked at myself 10 years ago I was a very timid and very shy person, I wasn’t open about anything,” he remembered.
He said he wanted to start ‘The PadCast’ to help people realise that it’s okay not to be okay, and to be a listening ear for someone who may be struggling, which is why he live streams the podcast on Twitch to allow people to join in.
He said anywhere from five to ten people join the livestream to ask questions, share advice and experiences and just have a chat.
“I’m not here to give professional psychological advice but I’m giving advice on how you can get better and the avenues to do this.
“It’s fully based on my own experience, I wouldn’t talk about a topic if I hadn’t experienced it.”
“I don’t want to be big and famous but I think mental health is something that really affects people now, it is a serious illness if it’s untreated,” he said.
He said if his podcast makes one person open up about their struggles then it is a success.
Patrick and his friends, Cormac Smith and Kyle Aldaba, talk about anything from mental health, college life, exam stress, video gaming and internet addiction, motivation and phone usage among young people.
“There are more topics to come,” he promised.
He said ‘The PadCast’ has a young audience base with an age range of 17-25, with followers mostly in Ireland but also from England and America.
There are currently 13 podcasts on Spotify, which can be accessed by searching ‘The PadCast.’
Listeners can join the conversation on twitch.tv/padder.
“I’m not going to stop until I am made to stop because I’d love to keep this as an ongoing thing,” Patrick concluded.