Joseph, a student at NLN Castlebar, writes about the benefits of NLN for his mental health and well-being.


“My name is Joseph, I’ve been doing the Sporting Chance course at NLN Castlebar since January. I am 39 years old, with three kids and I have worked in factories all my life. My favourite hobby at the moment is running, especially long-distance running. I am doing the Sporting Chance course to make a change in my career and to do something I love to do. When I moved to Mayo three years ago, I found it hard to get and keep work in the factories.

NLN Castlebar is a fantastic centre with great atmosphere. I have no fear there, as the support is great from the teachers. I found that I blended well with the others on the course and would consider them as friends, as we do have the craic as well, good laughs and we all enjoy it. We all support each other so we learn together with good vibes and we train together with good vibes.

NLN gave me the opportunity to take time out from my course and timetable, for me to attend external support programmes which form part of my ongoing recovery. NLN really understood that going to these meetings is great for my mental health and wellbeing. For me, it was great to have someone from NLN supporting me around this and talking about it.

The best thing about NLN is the support that they provide. I really feel comfortable and welcomed. I have gained so many skills and qualifications in the short time that I have been on board with NLN. I have received my Lifeguarding certificate and all the skills that come with that. I have been using the laptops and desktops a lot more and my typing skills and computer skills have improved so much.

In the future, I hope to have the qualification to go and work as a personal trainer and help people to achieve their fitness goals and to help them improve their well-being and mental health. I do plan to start some kind of a business of my own”.