March 26, 2024

Be a Voice for Rural Youth

Limerick Youth Service (LYS) is inviting expressions of interest from young people in rural communities who would like the join the LYS Rural Youth Mental Health Advisory Panel (YAP).

Some members of the first Rural Youth Mental Health Advisory Panel pictured with their city peers. 

Established in 2022, the Rural YAP has been to the fore in raising awareness of the mental health and wellbeing challenges that rural young people endure, while they have also promoted the many supports available, from self-help programmes to listening services.

‘growing up in a rural setting can be quite different for some young people’

‘Young people from across Limerick County are invited to join, as it’s important that we hear from all communities,’ said Leona O’Callaghan, LYS Rural Youth Mental Health Worker.

‘Growing up in a rural setting can be quite different for some young people, a fact highlighted by the Covid-10 pandemic and the periods of lockdown,’ said Leona.

‘Social isolation, lack of transport, poor broadband and limited number of social outlets outside of school, can all have an effect on a young person’s wellbeing,’ added Leona.

‘As a member of the Rural YAP, a young person can advocate for their peers, take part in wellbeing and youth programmes and raise awareness of the supports and challenges for young people in rural communities,’ said Leona.

Some of the members of the LYS Rural Youth Mental Health Panel

The Rural YAP meets regularly at youth spaces and community hubs across Limerick, while they also meet virtually.

‘For geographical reasons, we have regional subgroups who meet while the main YAP will meet at least monthly,’ stated Leona adding, ‘travel is subsided by LYS!’

Young people and parents/guardians who would like to know more about the Rural YAP are asked to contact Leona at or call/text 087-9051930.

For more information and details of the achievements of the Rural YAP visit or via the respective LYS social media channels.

The Rural Youth Mental Health Project is a part of LYS’ Be Well Youth Mental Health Project and is supported by RTE Late Late Show Toy Show Appeal in partnership with the Community Foundation of Ireland.

A member of Youth Work Ireland and the Irish Association of Community Training Organisations, LYS remains committed to connecting with young people and supporting them to reach their full potential.