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Aisling is 18 and lives in Co Waterford. The youngest of 4 sisters, she is well able to stick up for herself. Sporty, sassy and smart, you would never know that Aisling has struggled with depression since she was very young. Aisling writes for us about her depression, hoping to help others, but doesn’t let it define her. Recently,  she shared her story in a school in Dublin, and encouraged them to take care of themselves, and ask for help if they need it. Here, she talks about why she joined our Youth Council.

What was it about The Shona Project that drew you and prompted you to join our Youth Council?

I struggled with mental from a young age and I love what The Shona Project does to help teenage girls in so many different ways. It would’ve been exactly what I needed as a teen. So of course I wanna help in any way I can.

What do you hope to bring to the organisation?

Hopefully I  can bring a different perspective and give experienced views and opinions that someone can relate to

How was your teenage experience?

Definitely not enough space for this, but in a nutshell surrounded by people who loved and cared for me but never knew about the war going on in my brain

What do you wish you could tell your 14-15 year old self?

Put your guard down and talk, it’s the best thing you’ll ever do

What’s the most important piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

This too shall pass ( even got it as a tattoo).

What do you like most about yourself?

My ability to cut through bullshit, get to the point and see things for how they really are.

How do you deal with stress or cope with difficult situations?

I definitely take a deep breath first. Give myself a minute or two to panic or stress, let the stress take the spotlight it’s craving. Then I go and sort the issue. I give my stress a couple of moments to shine and then tell it to get over itself.

If you could have dinner with any 5 women (alive or dead) who would they be and why?

Definitely Carrie Fisher. She was a mental health badasss and I love her for it. Emma Watson because I’m genuinely astonished with her HeForShe campaign and everything she has done as such a  young age including her fight for women’s rights. Angelina Jolie she may be my woman crush but I can’t nearly begin to get started on her humanitarian work (and she’s fab). JK Rowling because I feel like she’d have us all in stitches laughing. And finally, my mam. She would be the one cooking the dinner. It would be impossible not to invite her. And she’s a legend.

What book, film or song means the most to you and why?

This is genuinely the hardest question I have ever been asked. I am going to say Gale Song by The Lumineers, for the simple reason that there’s a line in it that goes “oh, this too shall pass, this loneliness won’t last for long” and when this song came on when I felt down it would pick me up again everytime.

If we were to have a Shona Christmas party, which song would get you up dancing?

Honestly 2 glasses of wine and I will dance to anything. I have got a guilty pleasure for Kanye West

Share your favourite inspirational quote…

Okay for this I’ve got a few but I’m not sure will they make the cut.

This too shall pass.

Love all, Hate none. Trust a few.

F**k the begrudgers (My dad said that to me every morning going to school).

A moment of pain is worth a lifetime of glory.