Mission possible: Mission accomplished

We held our Mission Possible awards this week, celebrating the achievements of schools around the country in promoting positive mental health.

Now in its second year, the Mission Possible Awards Ceremony held at St Patrick’s University Hospital recognises schools from all over Ireland for their effort and contribution to tackling the stigma surrounding mental health both in the classroom and in the wider community.

Fergus Finlay, Barnardos CEO, joined this year’s judging panel, alongside CEO of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services Paul Gilligan, and Walk in My Shoes Project Manager Amanda McArdle.

St Patrick’s CEO, Paul Gilligan, said,

“Children and teenagers spend approximately a third of their childhoods in school. Creating a mentally healthy educational environment can have a lasting impact on their wellbeing. Schools across the country are doing exceptional work in this area. A key aim for the Walk in My Shoes campaign, and the Mission Possible awards, is to acknowledge this work and to recognise those schools that seek to empower students by creating an ethos of wellbeing.”

The Mission Possible competition was open to all schools, primary and secondary, with a winning category for each. All entries submitted presented an impressive and inspiring array of initiatives, including the introduction of The Buddy Seat, Friendship Week and collaborations with community organisations.

Barnardos CEO Fergus Finlay said,

“I was taken aback at the standard of entries, and in particular the level of understanding of mental health that these young people have learned during this process. Unfortunately we could only pick three winners in each category, but each class here today has built an ethos in their school that will make a difference for years to come”.

The following schools received prizes:

Primary School:

St Killian’s Junior National School, Tallaght – €1000
Rathbeggan National School, Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath – €500
Killeen National School, Louisburgh, Co. Mayo – €500

Secondary School:

Mountrath Community School, Co. Laois – €1000
Presentation College Carlow – €500
Colaiste Iosagain, Portarlington – €300

All participating schools received a ‘Certificate of Achievement’.

In no particular order, the Runners-Up in the Primary School Category are:
Galway Educate Together National School
Dalkey National School, Dublin
Scarleigh National School, Cork
Scoil na Croise Naofa, Cork City

In no particular order, the Runners-Up in the Secondary School Category are:
Maryfield College, Drumcondra
Newtown School, Waterford
St. Clement’s College, Limerick
St. Kevin’s College, Dublin 11

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