Inspirational Caitlin wins Child of the Year award

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A Ballygawley girl who has battled anorexia has won the Child of the Year title at the Ni4kids awards in Belfast.

Caitlin O’Hanlon was given the award after becoming a passionate speaker about anorexia.

She overcame a three-year battle with the illness and self-harming to set up a Facebook page to help other children cope with the same problems.

The 16-year-old was admitted to hospital suffering from anorexia nervosa just after her 13th birthday.

Joanne, Caitlin’s mum, said: “Over the next three years, Caitlin was admitted to hospital four times suffering from depression. However my brave daughter has now come out of the darkness and is back home, determined to fight her demons once and for all.

“Her new passion is to help and raise awareness of mental health in children, speaking openly about her experiences. Mental health in children has been a taboo for so many years, but Caitlin has been so inspirational and is now determined to fight on and help other children.”

Dawn Shaw, NI Director for Action for Children who support the awards, added: “There were plenty of strong nominations this year but Caitlin stood out because of her courage in trying to help other young people.”