Teenager from Sutton named Young Person of the Year for helping youngsters cope with issues
A schoolboy who overcame crippling anxiety to set up a website that helps other young people beat their demons has been honoured.
Aidan McNulty, now 18, was named young Young Person of the Year at an event earlier this month for setting up TalkEasy, a website that lets young people suffering from stress find out ways of coping with their problems.
The Sutton teenager was in year 10 studying hard for his GCSEs when he became so stressed he thought it was having an effect on his physical health.
Aidan (third froom right, front row) at a reception held in his honour by Sutton Mayor Sean Brennan
He said: "I suffered headaches, nose bleeds and other symptoms and then made the mistake of going online and looking them up. I convinced myself I had a brain tumour and that I was dying.
"I shut myself in my room away from friends and family. I felt alone and isolated it was horrible."
Aidan, who goes to the John Fisher SChool in Purley and is now in the sixth form, managed to get over his issues but it made him realise there must be other young people who find themselves in similar positions.
With that in mind he set up the Talk Easy Trust that offers counselling to pupils around south London and became a mentor for another organisation supporting young people going through difficulties.
His work with the Talk Easy Trust has continued and he has now set up the website that acts as a space where teenagers can talk to trained young people about issues like exam stress, bullying, family problems and self-harming.
He added: "Young people need only go in our chat room anonymously to get help safely. If it is necessary we can pass people on to fully trained counsellors."
The service has proved to be a success and Aidan was named the first ever London Young Person of the Year at a ceremony earlier this month and was invited to Sutton Mayor Councillor Sean Brennan's parlour for a reception held in his honour.
Mark Scully, head teacher at John Fisher said: "Our entire school community is proud of his achievements as well as the concern he has shown for the well-being of young people here at Fisher, in other local schools and elsewhere."
Coun Brennan added: "It has been a privilege to meet Aidan. He is an inspirational and dedicated young man who has helped the lives of many young people across the country and continues to do so.
"His bravery in speaking about his experiences will resonate with others and encourage a more open dialogue about mental health."
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