St Patrick’s Mental Health Services held its Mission Possible awards this week, celebrating the achievements of schools around the country in promoting positive mental health.
And two Laois schools were among the winners that have been announced this morning.
Mountrath Community School won first prize in the secondary school category with Colaiste Ioságain Portarlington coming in third place.
This netted Mountrath €1,000 while Colaiste Iosagain were awarded €300.
Now in its second year, the Mission Possible Awards Ceremony held at St. Patrick’s University Hospital recognises schools from all over Ireland for their effort and contribution to tackling the stigma surrounding mental health both in the classroom and in the wider community.
Fergus Finlay, Barnardos CEO, joined this year’s judging panel, alongside CEO of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services Paul Gilligan, and Walk in My Shoes Project Manager Amanda McArdle.
St. Patrick’s CEO, Paul Gilligan, said: “Children and teenagers spend approximately a third of their childhoods in school.
“Creating a mentally healthy educational environment can have a lasting impact on their wellbeing. Schools across the country are doing exceptional work in this area.
“A key aim for the Walk in My Shoes campaign, and the Mission Possible awards, is to acknowledge this work and to recognise those schools that seek to empower students by creating an ethos of wellbeing.”
The Mission Possible competition was open to all schools, primary and secondary, with a winning category for each.
All entries submitted presented an impressive and inspiring array of initiatives, including the introduction of The Buddy Seat, Friendship Week and collaborations with community organisations.
Barnardos CEO Fergus Finlay said: “I was taken aback at the standard of entries, and in particular the level of understanding of mental health that these young people have learned during this process.
“Unfortunately we could only pick three winners in each category, but each class here today has built an ethos in their school that will make a difference for years to come.”