Innovating for Mental Health
Mental health continues to be highlighted as a recurring issue of concern among Irish teenagers. Here are just some examples of young people taking ACTION on this issue through Young Social Innovators' programmes.
How do these stories inspire you?
Mercy Mounthawk Secondary School, Tralee, Co. Kerry (2010)
To encourage young people to express their emotions.
This team felt that bottling up feelings was detrimental to mental health and could cause further anger, anxiety and depression for those who felt unable to communicate. They wanted to highlight the importance of communicating emotions. They held a silence week which demonstrated how difficult life can be when you cannot effectively communicate and when people cannot understand you. They then organised an Emotion Promotion week where they introduced students in their school to various alternative methods of self-expression – art, music, sport, martial arts and drama as well as promoting their ‘write love on your arm’ campaign. They created an emotion wall where each person in the school was invited to post a picture, word or phrase that made them happy. This promoted positive thoughts and encouraged young people to communicate their emotions.
The YSI team showed great understanding of the need to learn from and support each other. Their “wall of happiness” was a great success in the school. The activities that they organised were very inclusive of the student population and they took a whole school approach to allowing their peers to freely express their emotions without any fear. They communicated effectively with their fellow students and teachers to create a positive impact.