Competitions and Awards, Schools

20 November, 2023

2023 Mission Possible winners announced

Irish schools have been awarded for the promotion of positive mental health and wellbeing in our Mission Possible awards.

For this year’s Mission Possible school achievement awards, schools were invited to create their very own “Mission Possible Wellbeing Walls” to showcase all the wellbeing supports in place and the initiatives happening in their school, as well as signposting students to the supports outside of school.

Our 2023 champions

Our 2023 champions

The winners of the seventh Mission Possible awards are below.

Primary school winner: Scoil Lorcáin Boys National School, St John’s Park, County Waterford.

Scoil Lorcáin’s Wellbeing Wall was designed by pupils, staff, and art teachers, and it showcases that relationships are at the heart of their school. Their wellbeing initiatives include Buddy Benches to support inclusion, as well as annual Antibullying and Wellbeing Weeks. The school also celebrates Mindful Monday and Feel Good Fridays, as well as developing classroom wellbeing libraries.

Secondary school and Youthreach winner: Youthreach North Great Georges Street, Dublin 1.

"Together we are better" explain the students and teachers at Youthreach in North Great George’s Street. All students worked together to create their Mission Possible wall that included a wellbeing tree. All visitors were encouraged to add a leaf to the tree with a positive thought or affirmation. This project helped students overcome anxiety issues through visual mediums and form new friendships.

Special school winner:  St Mark’s Special School, Newbridge, County Kildare.

St Mark’s wellbeing wall is called We All Fit Together. As their students can find it difficult to understand the definition of mental health, staff gathered their Junior Certificate Cycle students for a visual celebration. They shared some positivi-tea and looked at how communities in school and outside school help us to be ourselves and celebrate who we are as unique individuals.

Special class in secondary school: St Joseph’s Secondary School Drogheda, County Louth.

Students in this school who are on the autism spectrum put this Wellbeing Wall together, selecting words they wanted to share to tell their own stories in a safe and welcoming place. The school has worked to develop a wellbeing programme, that includes a Ways to Wellbeing initiative, to support all their students. The word “wellbeing” is now part of their school language.

 

Seven years of celebrating schools

Seven years of celebrating schools

Since September, over 200 schools across Ireland have created Wellbeing Walls that creatively show how they are supporting positive mental health. Of these 200 schools, 50 submitted their Wellbeing Wall projects to our School Portal, a central hub of ideas and resources to help schools across the country to further promote and support mental health and wellbeing.  

This year’s winning schools were selected by a panel of three judges: Áine Lynch, Chief Executive Officer, National Parents Council; Sinéad Smyth, teacher at St Patrick’s Mental Health Services’(SPMHS) Willow Grove Adolescent Unit; and Tamara Nolan, Director of Communications and Advocacy at SPMHS.

Speaking about the Mission Possible school achievement Awards, Willow Grove teacher and judge, Sinéad Smyth, said: “As a teacher in the Willow Grove Adolescent Unit, I understand the unique challenges faced by school students, particularly those who may be experiencing mental health difficulties. The Mission Possible school achievement awards is an opportunity for students and teachers to showcase their commitment to fostering supportive and inclusive learning environments for all students, and to challenge the stigma associated with mental health difficulties that can be a barrier to many young people seeking support. 

"Through the creation of these wellness walls, schools are creating open and inclusive environments, providing students with important information about supports available, and encouraging them to continuously challenge mental health stigma.”

The winning school in each category will receive prize money of €600, while all schools that entered the awards will receive a Certificate of Achievement.