Recently, Transition Year students Carla Crosbie and Oisin McGillicuddy, two members of the school’s Headstrong Committee accompanied by Mr.O’Briain, visited Dublin Castle to attend a Headstrong Summit.
At the summit, we got the opportunity to listen to different speakers share their stories and experiences about mental health. Many speakers gave their advice about how to promote positive mental health in schools. We learnt a variety of different activities that could be introduced into the school community to improve positive mental health and mental health awareness.
Students got to participate in workshops on the day such as describing different negative connotations too often thrown out about people who have mental illnesses; such as people with mental illnesses being described as “weak”. We were reminded that these terms are incorrect and hurtful and we discussed how we can get rid of the stigmas associated with mental health.
We were given skills and strategies they could bring back and implement in DCC. We collected a plaque on behalf of last year’s Cycle Against Suicide student committee for all their work in promoting positive mental health in our school.
We would like to congratulate 6th Year student Jake O’Toole for being a Cycle Against Suicide Ambassador. There are only twelve ambassadors in the country and we are incredibly lucky to have Jake in our school. Jake was involved in the organisation of the Headstrong Summit.
Carla and Oisín spoke to Jake after the Summit to get his insight on being a Cycle Against Suicide Ambassador.
Q. How did you come about being an ambassador for Cycle Against Suicide?
A.“When I was in TY I was asked to be part of the Cycle Against Suicide squad for the school. Ms. Lowry was approached by Cycle Against Suicide and asked if any students would be interested in applying for the Ambassador role. Ms Lowry asked me would I be interested and I gladly took the opportunity.”
Q. How long have you been an ambassador for Cycle Against Suicide?
A. “I took up the position in May 2018”.
Q. What are your roles and responsibilities as an Ambassador?
A.”We create a programme for schools to promote positive mental health in their school. We also ran the Headstrong Summit in Dublin Castle a few weeks ago.”
Q.What are your achievements so far as an Ambassador?
A.“We successfully developed the programme for schools to follow to encourage positive student mental health. I was also proud to be involved with the Headstrong Summit in Dublin Castle”
Q.Do you enjoy being an Ambassador?
A.”Yes, being ambassador gives the opportunities to work on loads of great projects and meet new people. I am really enjoying it.”
Q.What are your goals for the near future?
A.”To continue to expand the committee and improve our new programme.”
We wish Jake all the very best with his work with Cycle Against Suicide.
Lastly, we remind all students that it is OK not to feel OK, and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help.
Thanks to TY Journalism and Headstrong Committee students Oisín McGillicuddy and Carla Crosbie for this article.