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Pupils Unite to Take Action on Mental Health
May 2019 - The East Down Advertiser
Pictured at the session are pupils from both schools, along with Geri Wright from Phoenix Natural Gas and Hugh Roarty from Action Mental Health.
Senior pupils at Knockevin Special School welcomed pupils from Down High School to take part in a specialist mental health and well-being programme delivered by Action Mental Health, in association with Phoenix Natural Gas.
‘Provoking Thought’ is a bespoke programme, designed to support young people in the area of mental and emotional wellbeing through a range of activities. The programme contents can be specifically tailored to suit group needs, including for different age groups such as the specific challenges faced by year 8 to year 10 pupils.
Hugh Roarty from Action Mental Health is responsible for delivering the programme; “The interactive workshops are designed to explore issues and facilitate discussion around issues of mental and emotional wellbeing and include information on a wide range of topics, from challenging stigma around mental health to raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of mental distress. The session also teaches young people how to cope positively with stress, and provides a tangible source of support in the form of leave-behind materials.”
The programme was launched in the County Down area last year, where Phoenix Natural Gas is currently working to extend the natural gas network. The sessions were so well received that Phoenix Natural Gas has continued supporting Action Mental Health to deliver the programme to even more pupils in the area.
Geri Wright, Communications Manager at Phoenix Natural Gas said, “Phoenix Natural Gas has a strong corporate social responsibility programme and is actively dedicated to supporting the community which it serves. We are delighted to partner with Action Mental Health on such a pivotal initiative and help plug the gap in support for this age group in areas where we are extending the benefits of natural gas.”
Speaking after the session, Knockevin Special School Principal, Sara Liddell said, “We were delighted to welcome Action Mental Health to our school this week to deliver this very important session. Mental health and emotional wellbeing is an area of increasing importance not only to our school, but to the wider community.
“As part of our commitment to caring for our community, we invited pupils from nearby Down High School to join us for the session and it was great to see the pupils working together and openly discussing mental health. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the session and took away great learning which will hopefully continue to be of benefit to them throughout their school years.”