NL Young Humanitarian

PatrickHickey-(1).jpgPatrick Hickey

Although Patrick Hickey of St. John’s only graduated from Holy Heart of Mary High School in 2015, he’s made impressive contributions provincially and nationally to address youth mental health.

In Grade 11, Hickey helped organize a school-wide event on mental wellness and later founded the Metro Youth Mental Health Committee, a student group with representatives from all 13 high schools in the St. John’s area. In Grade 12, he organized a two-day youth mental wellness conference attended by more than 600 students from some 30 schools, the first event of its kind in Newfoundland and Labrador.

While travelling in 2014 with the Students on Ice Foundation, Hickey became intrigued by mental health issues among youth in Canada’s North. He joined the youth-led organization North in Focus and helped organize workshops for Inuit youth to discuss topics including substance abuse and suicide, identify needs and gaps, and how to better access resources to address mental health needs.

Hickey now attends Western University in London, ON, as a Ralph M. Barford Loran Scholar, receiving $100,000 toward studies including internships in the areas of Enterprise, Public Policy and Community Development, one of which he’s completed as an assistant policy analyst with the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

He was on an advisory committee for Kids Help Phone and the Movember Foundation to expand online mental health support for male youth and currently serves on the Kids Help Phone national youth council as well as a advisory committee to the Minister of Health and Community Services on mental health and addictions. In 2015 he was named Youth of the Year by the City of St. John’s and was also honoured provincially as Youth Volunteer of the Year.