Foroige teens discuss mental health through rapping

College life editor Laura Smith looks at how three Cork teenagers use rap to discuss mental health all done through the Foróige Youth organization.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Foróige, it is one of the leading youth organization’s in Ireland. The charity works with over 50,000 young people and 5,500 adult volunteers annually. Their aim is to work on 150 targeted projects and national programs such as Entrepreneurship (NFTE), Health & Wellbeing, Citizenship, and Entrepreneurship.

In Cork, Foróige members Trisha Sexton (14), Paul Woods (17) and Shane Keane (20) work the project in the Mayfield about the Local Drug & Alcohol Task Force Project and created a really powerful catchy rap about depression and suicide something which is close to their own lives and also the lives of many more. This rap was made to discuss bullying, depression, and suicide in collaboration with Garry McCarthy from GMCBeats Workshops to create a message of reaching out to people with mental health illnesses.

Throughout the rap, it speaks of how reaching out to people can really make a difference and that it’s okay not to be okay. The rap addresses how one might want to give up but in the end, sees the light and is helped. The rap is aimed at students who might to suffering from any mental health issues and to come forward and speak out about it.

With celebrities like Bressie, former Cavan goalkeeper Alan O’ Mara and singer and actress Demi Lovato all speaking about their mental health, it really make teenagers and young people be more open when it comes to topics like this. The repeated lyrics of 'Reach Out, Speak Out' - 'you never really know what’s going on in someone else’s head’, relate to how some people can disconnect from the world and not speak about what’s really going on in their lives.

Foróige Youth Officer Deirdre Dennigan works with the group. She said: “the group worked so hard writing the lyrics, coming up with the music, filming the video and designing the look and feel of the campaign. I’m so proud of what they’ve achieved. The rap and video showcase how amazingly talented these young people are whilst highlighting a crucial issue for them and their peers.”

The rap has already got nationwide attention and was also entered into the Aldi Foróige Youth Citizenship Awards on April 29th, 2017. It won the award for the ‘Ones to Watch’. The rap was officially launched on May 24th and can be viewed on the Foróige YouTube channel at ‘Foróige Channel’.

‘In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision’- Dalai Lama.

‘It's amazing. Life changes very quickly, in a very positive way, if you let it’- Lindsey Vonn.

‘To succeed, you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you’-Tony Dorsett.

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