Stars of Irish broadcasting, sport, music, business and the arts support this unique student event themed ‘Appreciate your Mind’ Our TY Students were afforded a unique opportunity to attend a special daylong event hosted by Cycle Against Suicide, at the RDS Dublin, to promote positive mental health in schools and communities across the island of Ireland.
The Student Leaders’ Congress, which saw 4,000 students from 100 schools gather, was aptly themed ‘Appreciate your Mind’ (a theme selected by Cycle Against Suicide Student Leaders) and sought to remind students, that it’s OK not to feel OK; and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help.
Our Students not only participated in a carefully choreographed, high energy experience, but also showcased their own project work a “Mental Health Awareness Video” (available on Youtube) Our link teacher Cheryl Keeler said: ”Our school was privileged to participate in this unique student experience hosted by Cycle Against Suicide and we were honoured to showcase our school’s work at this national event. The impact of this type of activity is far reaching, not just in our schools, but also in the community at large. “
The Student Leaders’ Congress seeks to highlight the importance of promoting positive mental health practices in schools and communities and in a very special way, demonstrates the value to students of appreciating their own mental wellbeing. There is also an opportunity for students to interact with mental health organisations exhibiting on the day. The purpose of this interaction is to sign post students in the direction of where critical help is available, if and when needed.
MC’d by 2FM’s Colm Hayes and Al Porter, the event featured interviews and discussions with high profile Cycle Against Suicide ambassadors, including adventure athlete and professional speaker Mark Pollock; mother and athlete, Sonia O’Sullivan; Voice of Ireland Coach and musician, Bressie; singer from indie pop act Heathers, Ellie McNamara; mentalist, Shane Gillen and many more. Dublin Gospel Choir and bands, White Chalk and Red Empire, will perform for the 4,000 students present.
Cycle Against Suicide founder Jim Breen said: “We held our first ever Student event in March 2013 at RTE’s studios. There were 40 student leaders in attendance that day. That event highlighted to us the appetite that existed among young people for an event that would address mental health issues and harness the potential of young people as ambassadors for the Cycle Against Suicide movement. Each year over the two weeks of our annual Cycle, we give presentations in schools, colleges and communities all around the island of Ireland and we witness how hugely responsive students are to the message that it’s OK not to feel OK; and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help. Today is a very special event as it is tailored exclusively to young people and we are delighted to have such high profile guests in attendance to encourage our students to appreciate their mental wellbeing.”