Award-winning students fulfill mission to tackle mental health stigma
Dublin, 1 May 2019: Walk in My Shoes held its third annual Mission Possible Awards this week, celebrating the innovation of Irish schools in promoting positive mental health.
Six schools from across the country collected prizes at yesterday’s awards ceremony, held in St Patrick’s University Hospital, commending student’s achievements in raising awareness of mental health and combatting stigma in their classrooms and wider communities.
First launched in 2017, the 2019 Mission Possible Awards competition proved the most popular yet, receiving more than double the number of entries than last year. The competition marks a flagship initiative of Walk in My Shoes, St Patrick’s Mental Health Services’ awareness-raising and education campaign, geared towards youth mental health.
Tanya Ward, CEO of the Children’s Rights Alliance, joined this year’s judging panel, along with Paul Gilligan, CEO of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, and the Walk in My Shoes’ Project Manager.
With awards available for both primary and secondary schools, entries to the Mission Possible competition revealed an encouraging, inventive selection of positive mental health initiatives underway in schools in Ireland. Standout activities included ‘Mindful Monday’, resilience workshops, sound walls, and a ‘Smile Club’.
Paul Gilligan said, “One in five young people aged 10-19 now experience mental health difficulties. Positive school environments play a central part in addressing this by enhancing mental health awareness, tackling stigma, and promoting well-being. The volume of entries to this year’s Mission Possible Awards speaks to the remarkable engagement and leadership of Irish schools on mental health issues. We are delighted to recognise the invaluable contribution schools are making in empowering children and young people to live mentally healthy lives.”
Tanya Ward added, “With an incredibly impressive array of entries, it was very difficult to choose just three winners of this competition: every school taking part should be proud of building holistic, supportive approaches and fostering open attitudes towards mental health. Involving students in projects like Mission Possible creates a long-lasting impact and moves us all closer to a mentally healthy future”.
Winners at the Mission Possible Awards
All participating schools received a ‘Certificate of Achievement’. The following schools received prizes at the awards ceremony.
- Third Place: Ballygiblin NS, Gurteenaboul, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork
- Second Place: Balbriggan Educate Together NS, Balbriggan, Co. Dublin
- First Place: Mary’s Boys NS, Belturbet, Co. Cavan.
- Third Place: Royal School Cavan, Co. Cavan
- Second Place: St. Peter’s College, Dunboyne, Co. Meath
- First Place: Rosmini Community School, Drumcondra, Dublin 9.
In no particular order, runners-up in the Primary School category were:
- Ballyraine NS, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal
- Edeninfagh NS Glenties, Co. Donegal.
- St James Primary School Basin Lane, Dublin 8
- St. Clare's Primary School, Harold's Cross, Dublin 6W
- St Attracta's National School, Charlestown, Co. Mayo
- Gaelscoil an Bhradáin Feasa, Bothar an Mhuilinn, Droichead Atha, Contae na Mi
- Rathbeggan National School, Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath
- Scoil Mhuire Allenwood, Allenwood, Co. Kildare
- CBS Primary School Kilkenny, Stephen Street, Kilkenny.
In no particular order, runners-up in the Secondary School category were:
- St Joseph’s Secondary School, Tulla, Co. Clare
- St. Paul's Secondary School, Greenhills, Dublin 12
- Cabinteely Community School, Dublin 18
- Merlin College, Galway City, Co. Galway
- Mountrath Community School, Co. Laois
- St. Gabriel's Special School, Dooradoyle, Limerick
- Mercy Secondary School, Ballymahon, Co. Longford
- St Louis Community School, Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo
- St. Anne's Secondary School, Tipperary Town, Co. Tipperary.
To find out more about the 2019 Mission Possible School Achievement Awards, visit www.walkinmyshoes.ie.