Mental Health Week 2012

This week was Mental Health Awareness Week in Elphin Community College, which saw the school working and participating in activities and workshops which did and will contribute to well-being of everyone. Elphin Community College would like to whole-heartedly thank everybody who made this week such a tremendous success.

The week began with Dr. Geraldine Colleran delivering an excellent presentation detailing Mental Health Awareness and promoting positive Mental Well-Being. Dr.Colleran gave a talk to all Junior classes and then all Senior classes.

On Tuesday, the Home Economics department, with the help of students gave every student in the school pancakes, SOS donated the ingredients and toppings for the pancakes. The students had their choice of toppings and filled up on the delicious treats. Following this, Liam Moroney from Youth Work Ireland (Roscommon Branch) guiding the students through Progressive Relaxations sessions. The students were split into groups so they could experience the full effects of relaxing and Liam equipped the students with useful knowledge to help them cope with stress and life’s pressures.

On Wednesday, the Senior classes attended a workshop from the charity organisation Aware. Colm from the Galway branch delivered a talk entitled ‘Beat the Blues.’ The students were able to talk and listen freely to the content of the presentation. The workshop helped in removing the stigma that exists around mental health.

On Thursday, Finola Colgan from Mental Health Ireland gave an excellent presentation to the students on Mental Health and promoting positive Mental Well – Being. The presentations were delivered to Junior classes and then Senior classes. The talk confronted myths and gave top tips for promoting Positive Mental Health in everyone.

Additionally, Nicola Moran from Youth Work Ireland (Roscommon Branch) set up a stand which detailed all the wonderful facilities that are available in the school. Nicola manned the stall for the day and was on hand to talk to the students about all the leaflets she had. The students could attend the area at any time. Most of these leaflets will be available in the school.

The final day of the Mental Health Awareness week encapsulated the teachings of the week. SOS contributed to a very success, very competitive Mental Health Awareness Quiz.

SOS sponsored the prizes. All the students gathered in the lobby and balcony area of the school. The students had decorated with decorative figures, with a picture of themselves on top. Students were split into teams consisting of members from every year group.

Following this, students were allowed to enjoy games for the last two classes. Students had the choice of games. Games included soccer, basketball, hockey, volleyball, Nintendo Wii and Xbox, as well as watching comedy movies.

The atmosphere around the school this week has been electric and there was a real sense of unity and togetherness. Our aim was to remove the stigma that surrounds Mental Health and we feel that our students are part of a new generation of thinkers. This theme will be a continued message in our teachings and we are now in a position where we can help ourselves and help others. We all have a basic knowledge and we urge you to ask your child about their experience of the week. We enclose a basic checklist that you can keep to assist you, your child and your family to maintain positive Mental Health.

On behalf of the Guidance and SPHE department, we would like to thank Mrs. Lee, Miss McPhillips and all the teaching staff, the excellent speakers and organisations who helped so generously and of course, the students. This week was a success because of their willing participation, thirst for knowledge and their desire to help or be helped. As we learned this week, Mental Health is the relationship you have with yourself, with others and your ability to cope with life’s demands.

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