Development of a Resource Pack for Implementation of a Secondary School Mental Health Week
The importance of positive youth mental health is increasingly recognised by young people, parents, educators, medical and health promotion professionals, politicians and society as a whole. This project aims to design and develop a resource pack that will aid secondary schools in planning, organising and executing a Youth Mental Health Week. The pack will contain ideas and resources for small and large group activities to directly promote positive mental health. It is anticipated that the Youth Mental Health Week will be coordinated by transition year students. A series of evidence-based online youth mental health resources will be utilised as part of the group activities. Examples of such online interventions include:
Over the course of the week, students will also utilise the 'What’s on your mind?' online resource pack that is provided by the ‘‘seeme’ Scotland’ anti-stigma campaign. In addition, the pack will contain posters advertising mental health services and highlighting mental wellbeing issues relevant to the target population. It will include stickers, leaflets with advice on maintaining mental health support and student designed posters to be used to spark and inspire conversation among students. In its pilot phase, the project will recruit 10 schools to take part from from Galway city and county, and from Sligo town and county, via direct contact with principals and guidance counsellors. Participating schools will be offered advice and mentoring on planning for their Mental Health Week. Mental Health Week will run concurrently in all ten schools. The project will impact on the wider Galway community, as it will challenge young people’s perceptions of mental health, as well as empowering them to discuss the factors affecting their own mental health. It will ultimately build healthier, more emotionally fluent citizens, many of them future NUI Galway students.
• Dr Aleisha Clarke and John Campion have met three times to discuss progress and plan further. Professor Margaret Barry has attended two of these meetings.
• John has recruited four further NUI Galway students and two interested parties outside the university to help with planning, advice and implementation.
- Four Medical Society members are now involved in analyzing current mental health interventions for secondary school students
- A second-level teacher in Dublin, Philip O’Callaghan, is advising on recruitment of schools to the project.
- A Masters in Public Health student from Belfast, Jonathan Elliott, is advising on the possibility of recruiting schools in Northern Ireland to the project.
• Lists have been complied of online evidence-based international interventions and campaigns that would be potentially suitable for inclusion as part of the mental health week.
• Additional support for the project has been drawn from the Sligo Research and Education Foundation, through Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr. Geraldine McCarthy.
• A list of ten schools to participate in the Week has been compiled and a letter to recruit schools has been drafted.
• A graphic designer has been briefed and will put together a proposal for design of physical and online components of the project.
• The week of Monday 8th-Friday 12th April has been provisionally chosen and a launch event is being planned for late March.
• The title of the pack has been decided as Fit & Well Week.
• Dr Aleisha Clarke and John Campion have met four times to discuss progress and plan further.
• The original list of resources has been reduced to only the most appropriate for inclusion in the resource pack.
• John has contacted the ten chosen schools by post to inform them of the project and invite them to participate in the pilot.
• These schools have been followed up by phone and email to answer their queries and to confirm participation.
• To date, seven of the ten schools have confirmed.
• The advice of Prof. Margaret Barry and Dr Geraldine McCarthy has been sought for the contents and school recruitment.
• Ms. Edel O’Donnell (Health Promotion Officer, Galway) has attended a team meeting to give her input on content.
• The graphic designer has produced a logo for the project and a first draft of the resource pack.
• Printing has been costed.
• Fit & Well Week will run from 15th-19th April.
• The pack will be posted to schools to be there when they return from Easter break, on Monday, 8th April.
• Feedback on the implementation of the Fit & Well Week will be sought from the school coordinator via a questionnaire which has been included in the pack.