The Annual Cycle Against Suicide Ambassador School Awards ceremony was held at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham recently. These awards recognised the immense efforts of 83 schools around the island of Ireland who have completed the Ambassador School Programme, and become actively involved in mental health promotion. The Ambassador School Programme, one aspect of a wide range of Cycle Against Suicide initiatives, is school-led, and involves the completion of “Five Gears” over the course of a year, all of which are aimed at raising awareness of the message that “It’s OK not to feel OK; and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help”.
At a special reception held at The Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, we were awarded the prestigious status of Ambassador School by Cycle Against Suicide in recognition of its fulfilment of the Five Gears, and its exceptional commitment to the promotion of positive mental health for the third year in a row.
St. Dominic’s College Ballyfermot was represented at the event by Principal Mary Daly, Link Teacher, Cheryl Keeler and 5th Year students Leah Ellis and Grace Whelan who understandably are very proud of their achievements. “The Ambassador School Awards ceremony was a great day. It’s wonderful to attend such a positive event, and have the efforts of the students and staff in St. Dominic’s recognised. Our participation in the Ambassador School Programme has had an enormously positive impact on our school community, fostered a school-wide approach to the promotion of positive mental health, and provided incredible opportunities for student leadership” said Cheryl Keeler speaking at the event.
Representatives from the main education bodies and trusts, the Institute of Guidance Counsellors and the Ombudsman for Children, Niall Muldoon, all attended to celebrate the remarkable achievements of the schools involved.
The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD, congratulated the schools and said: “It is fantastic to see that 83 schools around the island of Ireland have completed the Ambassador School Programme, and become actively involved in mental health promotion. This is a hugely important issue that affects so many families. I strongly support the promotion of positive mental health awareness in both primary and post-primary schools.”