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27 May, 2020

Our Mission Possible 2020 winners are announced

Irish schools take on mental health mission

Irish schools take on mental health mission

We are delighted to announce the winners of our fourth annual Mission Possible awards, celebrating schools around the country that promote positive mental health and wellbeing for their students. 

Established in 2017, Mission Possible invites primary and secondary schools to submit evidence of innovative and unique projects undertaken to raise awareness of mental health and combat stigma within the school and the wider community.

This year, despite the extraordinary challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, over 30 submissions were made by schools around the country, demonstrating the determination of teachers to showcase the amazing efforts of their students as they developed new initiatives on their mission for positive mental health.

Winning schools

Six schools were chosen to receive awards within three categories, with winners announced in the congratulatory video below. The video is shared in place of the annual Mission Possible awards ceremony, usually held at St Patrick’s University Hospital for all participating primary and secondary schools.  All participating schools received a ‘Certificate of Achievement’.

Our primary school winners are:

  • Best Programme Activity | St Joseph's National School, Tivoli Road, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin
  • Best Standalone Project | St Stephen's National School, Johnstown, Navan, County Meath
  • Most Creative Idea | Woodland National School, Rough Park, Letterkenny, County Donegal.

Our secondary school winners are:

  • Best Programme Activity | Merlin College, Doughiska Road, Galway City
  • Best Standalone Project | Marino Community Special School, Bray, County Wicklow
  • Most Creative Idea | Mercy College, Coolock, Dublin.

 

Judging panel

Judging panel

This year’s guest judge, John Doran, Guidance Counsellor in the Patrician Secondary School and author of Ways to Wellbeing, joined Paul Gilligan, Chief Executive Officer of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services (SPMHS), and Tamara Nolan, Head of Communications and Advocacy at SPMHS, to review the primary school and secondary school initiatives.   

Highlights of this year’s entries were feelings charts, a Buddy Bench, and a Strengths Tree, as well as one entry from a winning secondary school which stayed connected during lockdown through a specially created Instagram wellbeing page for its classes.

Paul Gilligan highlighted the importance of teachers and students staying involved in mental health initiatives during this period of uncertainty.  He said “it is likely that the greatest emotional impact of this global pandemic will be on children and teenagers.  Finding understanding, meaning and emotional resilience in such circumstances is particularly difficult, and teachers have a key role to play.  I would like to congratulate these teachers and students on their achievements and commitment to promoting positive mental health. A teacher’s continued support and encouragement throughout this pandemic will have a lasting impact on their student’s mental health, and will highlight to them the importance of becoming an advocate for mental health throughout their lives.

John Doran highlighted the high standard of entries and commended the focus on wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. "I was delighted to be involved in this year’s Mission Possible initiative, and to acknowledge the achievement of these students on behalf of their community. Minding your mind has never been more important.  The wide range of initiatives and positive outcomes demonstrated by all schools, at primary and post primary level, showed a high level of innovation and commitment across the board. I would like to thank the students and teachers for their creativity and hard work, and for sharing such messages of positivity when we need it”.