On Thursday 4th October Errigal College Transition Year (TY) students Chloe Coyle, Reme Quill, Danny McGahey and Mark People’s, along with their teacher Mr David McHale, attended a mental health summit called HEADSTRONG.
The aim of HEADSTRONG is to reduce the stigma and stereotypes surrounding mental health issues.
HEADSTRONG is an evidenced-based schools programme pioneered by the Mental Health Commission of Canada that trains and enables a select number of students to become mental health champions within their school and, with the help/oversight of the teacher in attendance on October 4th, they introduce the programme into their school and train other students in a domino effect.
This is a contact education programme where the ideas students come up with will form a plan for the rest of the academic year. The HEADSTRONG stigma-reduction and positive health messages continue to be delivered to the entire school population. Students’ innovation and creativity, along with the support of a school staff member(s), means they will have so much to share about mental health, recovery, and available resources both in the school and the wider community.
The event was facilitated by Cycle Against Suicide whose message that ‘It’s okay not to feel okay and it’s absolutely okay to ask for help’ was to the fore as the theme of the summit.
Students commented that it was great to meet other students from around the country and come up with Action Plans on how to implement their ideas in their schools.