Lifestyle
WATCH: Malta’s Santa Claus fights mental health issues with positive outlook and good cheer

Albert McCarthy, known as Malta’s Santa Claus, gives hope to all those who suffer from mental illness, especially during the festive season when the challenges for these people are often greater. Mr McCarthy who in the past went through his own mental health issues dresses up as Santa Claus and goes around various towns and villages. He says he becomes very emotional when he receives letters from children who are going through certain problems.

Albert McCarthy and his wife Lina have been married for 50 years, and over the last few years since they have been dressing up as Santa and Mrs Claus they have met people who share their difficult experiences with them.  Mr McCarthy who suffered from being bi-polar set up the group Be Positive, because he believes that mental health issues can be fought by being positive.

“Be positive, and all those who have a problem should look up towards the Lord who will help them as long as they don’t give up because the future exists and if you move forward, you will definitely succeed.”

His wife Lina, with whom he has three children and eight grandchildren, says this is the most beautiful time of the year, because they have a chance to speak with a lot of people in various areas, while going round and bringing as much good cheer as possible. Lina said that after she passed through these same issues with her husband, she wants to give moral support to all those who feel alone so that they too can feel encouraged and find happiness.

“When you have battled against strong currents and overcome them, you emerge much stronger.”

Mr McCarthy said that he spends a lot of time reading the letters he receives from children about what they want for Christmas, but sometimes he is surprised by letters from children who open their hearts up to him.

“One which really left a great impression on me was by two children who instead of presents for themselves, wanted the gifts to go to the poor children in Syria.”

Albert and Lina McCarthy, say that as soon as s they put on their costumes they really do feel like they have entered into a fantasy world in a journey which transports them into the magic feeling of bringing joy to others, and which does so much good to our hearts and spirits.

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