St. Angela's Pride in Promoting Positivity
Positive Mental Health Day 2015 - Tuesday, January 13th
St. Angela's annual Mental Health Day took place on the 13th of January 2015 and its aim was to promote positive mental health and improve the quality of life for students with mental health problems by promoting recovery through awareness and education within the school. 'Team Amber Flag' became very creative by organising several events to highlight such awareness.
Quiz, Music and Treasure Hunt
The imaginative group organised a Quiz which consisted of questions relating to Mental Health. In order to make the Quiz happen, 'Team Amber Flag' had to be creative once more and so we designed a quiz that would reach all students in the school by displaying the Quiz Questions on the tv in the reception area. This was a great success and the participation rate was high. Congratulations to Molly Ryan 3C, for winning our quiz with her optimistic slogan 'Live Life in the Light'.
In addition to the quiz, a treasure hunt was organised for the first years. The theme of the question dealt with mental health issues. The priority here was to instill a strong sense of positive mental health in the first years and to inform them of our positive attitude within the school. It proved to be yet another triumph for the team as the first years scurried frantically around the school, searching for letters for an acronym spelling a mystery teacher's name!
Finally, at big lunch we played positive, upbeat music on the intercom which students thoroughly enjoyed and ‘allegedly’ many students were seen dancing around in their classrooms! As a group, the 'Amber Flag Team' was aware that in the same way that instruments create music, music is itself an instrument that produces good vibes and productivity. This was very evident on the day.
Overall, both as a team and as a school, we learned the valuable lesson that promoting a positive attitude towards mental health and living it out, is probably one of the most important lessons in life.
Leah Butler, 3C
2nd Year Activities
The Team organised for all second year pupils to participate in team bonding games, which included dodge ball, board games and a mixture of many other activities. The girls bonded with their year group and really enjoyed it overall. The purpose of this activity was to promote interaction and friendship which in turn improves all our mental health.
Andrea McSweeney and Ellen Bowman – 3rd Year
Positive Mental Health Art Competition
To enhance our day and promote ‘positive mental health’, Ms Bermingham also ran an Art Competition where students drew on their creative talents to depict the topic of mental health. All entries are displayed in the Reception area.
As part of this year’s Amber Flag initiative, every student also took part in a school wide buddy system. Each student was assigned to another student from a different year group. The year groups that were linked were:
1st years & 5th years
2nd years & 4th years
3rd years & 6th years
The Junior students did not know who their Senior Buddy was and it was entirely up to their Senior school counterpart to go and find them during the week. The hope was that the buddied up pair would meet at least three times during the week to say hello! After St. Angela’s Positive Mental Health Day ended, we hoped that a friendship between buddies would continue. This created a link between the junior and senior school and encourages communication and support within the student body.
As well as this, each year group received a ribbon, a different colour for every year. Once each student received her ribbon we asked them to sign their own name on their ribbons and wear it on their uniforms. Once a connection with the paired buddies was made, the pair signed each other’s ribbons, swapped and wore it for the rest of the week. At the end of the week, everyone in the school displayed their ribbons to highlight school friendship and unity. This venture linked in with Friendship Week.
Jenny Bruton, Ciara Desmond, Niamh Moloney, Eimear Kelly – 5th Year