Teenager from Sutton named Young Person of the Year for helping youngsters cope with issues

Aidan McNulty

Aidan McNulty

First published in News Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

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.

Croydon Guardian:

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."

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:04pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Kier001 says...

Class act. The vast majority of people, young and old, suffer with anxiety at some point. You channelled yours. Brilliant idea!
Class act. The vast majority of people, young and old, suffer with anxiety at some point. You channelled yours. Brilliant idea! Kier001
  • Score: 5

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree