Westmeath schools encouraged to promote mental health awareness in the classroom

Walk in My Shoes, the mental health awareness-raising campaign of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, is calling for students and teachers in Athlone and its environs to showcase their efforts to promote positive mental health in their respective schools, following the launch of the Mission Possible: School Achievement awards.

Mission Possible, first launched in 2016, was created to highlight the positive initiatives that students and teachers are taking in their schools to promote positive mental health and tackle the stigma associated with mental health difficulties.

With 75 percent of all mental health difficulties beginning before the age of 24, mental health awareness and education from a young age is vital in ensuring that young people feel empowered to live mentally healthy lives and know how they can seek help if mental health difficulties do arise.

The awards are open to and recognise primary and secondary schools from all over the country, not only for their efforts in raising mental health awareness in the classroom, but for their efforts in promoting positive mental health in the wider community.

Last year’s award ceremony saw three primary and three secondary schools collecting prizes for their contributions to educating, raising awareness and promoting positive mental health among their peers. The winning entries from 2018 included initiatives such as daily mental health runs, power of positive thinking activities, concentration station, sensory rooms and gratitude trees.

To enter this year’s Mission Possible, schools need to submit a two page word document outlining their plans, objectives and results in terms of promoting positive mental health in their school. Winning schools can scoop anywhere between a €300 - €1,000 prize depending on where they place.

For full entry details and for further information visit www.walkinmyshoes.ie The closing date for entries is March 22nd and an awards ceremony will be held on April 12 in St Patrick’s University Hospital.

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