Limerick pupils get an A for mental health awareness

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

Email:

donal.oregan@limerickleader.ie

Eleven fifth year Castletroy College students wear orange mental health ambassador badges and have created a well-being self-care kit

Eleven fifth year Castletroy College students wear orange mental health ambassador badges and have created a well-being self-care kit

WHEN it comes to mental health Castletroy College pupils say don’t bottle it up, instead, blurt it out.

Pupils from the school will join 7,000 other secondary school students from all over Ireland at the Cycle Against Suicide Student Leaders’ Congress at Dublin’s 3 Arena on January 18.

Eleven fifth year students are involved as mental health ambassadors. Adrija Pavlova, Andrea Crochet, Brannagh McGuire, Conor Bourke, Danielle McMahon, Hazel Hourigan, Andreea Mocanu, Shannon Seagrief, Macief Jurewicz, Venkata Donthu and Lakeisha Lazo wear bright organge badges to demonstrate their promotion of mental well-being.

The teenagers have been engaged in a number of different creative projects, which will be on display at the event in Dublin. They are inspired by the Cycle Against Suicide motto that, it’s OK not to feel OK and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help. The Student Leaders’ Congress promotes positive mental health and provides help-seeking advice to young people in a fun and inclusive manner. The theme for this year is #EmpowerYourVoice.

CAS link teacher Martina Murphy, of  Castletroy College, said she was very proud of the mental health ambassadors and the efforts they have made to promote positive mental health in the school community.

Since September to promote the message of Empower Your Voice the students have created a well-being self-care kit which contains useful tips to help in tough times.

They also organised a Blurt It Out Bingo session for junior cycle students to encourage them to speak out, make new friends and foster healthy relationships.

The teenagers have plans for a lunch time pop-up café this year.

Having started as a gathering of 40 young people in 2012, the Student Leaders’ Congress has grown year on year, and this year’s event will be the largest youth mental health conference in Europe.

The student-led event boasts a diverse schedule of speakers, which includes representatives from Irish mental health organisations, Snapchat star James Kavanagh, Galway hurlers Jason Flynn and Davy Glennon, Dustin the Turkey, author Kevin Hines, and radio DJ Nikki Hayes. Music performances will be provided by Booka Brass Band, Mundy, Wild Youth, Little Hours and many more. All transition years in the school and some fifth years will attend the congress.