This is my story.

My name is Rónán Patterson, I am 21 years old. I live in County Cavan, Ireland.

I was 16 years old when I was diagnosed with Glandular Fever following several months not knowing what was going on. I had been tiring easily, had recurrent sore throats, and felt low in mood.  I was playing U18 rugby for my club Virginia and my Provence Ulster.  I was playing football for my local Ramor United and my County Cavan. Glandular Fever knocked me for six. I lost a lot of weight and muscle. Time passed and I started to get myself back on track physically, but I was still finding it hard to get myself back mentally.

I looked to the professionals to see what was wrong with me, why I was not enjoying sport anymore, why was not that happy energetic teenager anymore.

I was told that low moods can be an after effect of Glandular Fever so I hoped that my mood would get better over-time.

Time passed and nothing changed except my mood gradually getting worse, I did not want to go to school, I did not want to do my leaving certificate, I just did not care about anything anymore.

I realised that something was up, and I asked for more help.

It was all new to me, I did not know what “Depression” and “Anxiety” where. I had only ever heard people talk about it.

The relief I felt from just speaking to that one person which turned into speaking to another person was just tremendous.

I have been on Anti-Depressants on and off for a period of time and I had been seeing different councilors, some medications work for some people and other medications work for others and it is the exact same with the counselling, you just need to find the right person offering you the support you need.

To me it is good that I can finally see light at the end of the tunnel, I can now control my feelings and know how to handle myself if I am feeling down.

All of this started from me being able to understand that there was something wrong with me and I needed to ask for help.

This brings me to where I am now, I wanted to share my story with you all so hopefully someone who was in the same boat as me might finally find the courage to look for help, the speak to someone, to tell yourself you are not okay and you are not alone.

This is why I have started up “Need To Talk”.

I want to help end the stigma around mental health and spread awareness through my clothing brand.

I want people to recognise my logo. I want the logo to trigger a reaction. I want people who are feeling low to reach out. I want people who are feeling “okay” to identify the signs in their family and friends. I want them to ask, “how are you?” or “how was your day”.

One simple question may lead to that person finding some sort of energy inside them to identify that all is not okay and to seek support.

I want the logo to remind people who not spoken to in a while to get in touch to catch up for a chat.

I want the brand to help raise money for the charities that are out there to help and whose work is invaluable in raising awareness of Mental Health issues and to reduce the stigma traditionally associated with it.

This is why “Need To Talk” was created.

This is my story.

Rónán Patterson

 Need To Talk? Clothing 2020