Irish Refugee Council publish new wellbeing resource for young people in the international protection process

The Irish Refugee Council today published a wellbeing resource for young people in the international protection process. The comic is produced by young people in the protection process with the support of two artists Sophie Daly and Andy Wielens. Additional graphic design was provided by Oonagh Young.

It contains stories that capture the lives and experiences of young people seeking protection in Ireland and has everyday suggestions for improving mental health and wellbeing. Audio description of the project is also available  here.

Abdulai, a young person who worked on the project stated:

“I consider it a privilege to be involved in such a wonderful and very important project. Mental health and wellbeing are very important and we need to look after ourselves and help other people. I was able to tell my story, meet and share ideas with other wonderful young people. It makes me feel hopeful after hearing other people’s stories; and that made me realise that I am not alone and that other people have faced and are still facing more challenges in life than I do. I believe the materials will make a very big impact on people’s lives, especially young people.”

Aoife Dare, Youth Worker at the Irish Refugee Council stated:

“Mental health and wellbeing is a huge issue for young people living in Direct Provision at the best of times, and particularly during Covid. We know from working with young people for many years that they struggle with feelings of isolation, disconnection and motivation. Often separated from their friends, families and support systems, they can feel lost and alone. We hope that this resource, made by young people for young people, will go some way towards helping young people living in DP to better manage their mental health, provide information about where to go for support and provide a starting point to get more young people talking about this very important issue.”

Sophie Daly, Artist

"Working on this project was an eye-opening experience for us – prior to this project I had not met anyone who had been through the asylum process in Ireland. Due to the people who volunteered their time and effort, as well as the generous efforts of the Irish Refugee Council, this project would not have been possible. I sincerely hope our collaborative efforts help speak to young asylum seekers in a relatable and comforting way, thanks to the wonderful words of our volunteers who have been through the process themselves."