It's Your Right: Dylan Harnett (18) - My Life in YAP

Jun 23, 2014, 11:11 AM

Dylan Harnett (18) has been a member of the YAP for over a year now.

He thinks he has been given a great opportunity to do the things he gets to do, and opportunity that not many young people get, so he is determined to make the most of it.

Dylan considers himself and optimistic person. He says "You have to try and find the freedom and the good in every single day you live and I think that’s important in everyones life."

Jigsaw is a network of programmes across Ireland designed to make sure every young person has somewhere to turn to and someone to talk to. They provide confidental support to young people in their local area.

The Youth Advisory Panel is a group of dedicated young people who advise Jigsaw on the opinions and issues of young people, as well as helping the organisation raise awareness of mental health.

Headstrong is the National Centre for Youth Mental Health - a non-profit organisation supporting young people's mental health in Ireland.

Listen to Joseph Duffy, CEO of Headstrong, on 10 years of the Ombudsman for Children's Office and what it means for an organisation like Headstrong.

For more information on Children's Rights and the 'Its Your Right' campaign, visit the Its Your Right website:

Accompanying Music: 'Seven' by Michael Gallen © West Pole Music and Management Ltd.

Below is a transcript of Dylan's story.

00:00 Music.

Dylan Harnett; My name is Dylan, I’m 18 and from Tralee, Co Kerry. So I joined the YAP in April last year. It was on the back of me organising a duck race, a fundraiser for Jigsaw where we raised 3 grand. Before that, I didn’t know much about mental health or that area. So when I wanted to do a fundraiser, when I did it I kinda wanted to help people my own age and to make a difference. 00:30 Dylan; And I think being part of the YAP here in Tralee, Jigsaw in Kerry, I’m doing that. It’s a great opportunity, so far I’ve been in the YAP for the past year or so and I’ve spoken to hundreds of crowds and it’s developed my skills as a speaker and talking to people, my social skills have grown so much and I’ve just really developed as a person since joining the YAP, it’s just great helping other young people in this group. 01:00 Dylan; The Speak Your Mind campaign has definitely helped some people my own age in the community and the town, a lot of people are talking about their issues and have seen a rise in people coming to Jigsaw talking about their problems. The campaign is going well in that term, people are listening. People are talking about it. 01:30 Dylan; The concept of the campaign is you take a picture of yourself and put it online showing people you’re there to listen, that’s the general idea to get the conversation going about mental health and keeping it there as long as possible. if people aren’t there to listen, then people who have problems may have more problems and more problems. Until they have someone to talk to, that one good adult, that one good brother or sister and Nan, guidance counsellor, coach...anyone. 02:00 Dylan; So it’s very important to listen before those problems get worse. From my past year, I’ve learnt a lot, I know where my future lies. I know what I want to do in my life, I hope to do business or social work, which has really come in the past year, cos I’ve seen the work that happens. 02:30 Dylan; Mental Health, psychology in a YAP area or field....