When the 6th Class pupils of Dalkey School Project NS sought out a programme to learn about mental health and well-being, there was virtually nothing in terms of resources available, which was the case at both primary and secondary level. So 6th Class decided to devise their very own!
Fast forward six weeks and they are preparing to unveil an engaging and thought provoking multi-media presentation to the whole school community on their research. With the presentation, 6th Class are on a mission to make mental health just as big a priority for us all.
Their programme will be unveiled to the school community tomorrow, Friday 7th April 8:30-9:30am, to local media who may wish to attend and to a number of interested local representatives attending a coffee morning.
Topics which will be covered are:
an introduction to mental health and well-being
stigma around mental health
mental health challenges
signs of mental health challenges
help and supports available
There has been much media coverage of mental health challenges and the need for mindfulness and emotional well-being in recent years. When 6th Class began embarking on this project, only a few children (reluctantly) raised their hands to explain what their understanding of mental health and well-being was. In reality, this is the case nationwide, where most children and adults can’t, don’t or won’t discuss mental health because of stigma, fear and silence.
So, 6th Class aim to demystify mental health, normalise talking about the topic and promote supporting everyone who is, has or will experience mental health challenges. John Thomas Doohan, 6th Class teacher, says:
“This initiative has had a hugely positive influence on the way the children relate to each other”.
However, a cause for ongoing concern is that currently many students in Dalkey School Project NS are taught in corridors. The School needs approval for funds to build an extension to get children off corridors and into classrooms. Says Principal Miriam Hurley:
“We welcome support from local representatives for our work on mental health and in securing funds to build a four room extension on a constricted and challenging site.”