This year we have been working on an Amber Flag application. The Amber Flag Initiative is run by Pieta House and promotes positive mental health amongst children and young people.
The school has been actively engaged in the areas of well being and mindfulness for some time. The Amber Flag Initiative gave us all the opportunity to develop these areas even further and focus our attention on how we can promote positive mental health in an active way in school.
In order for the school to receive this award, several steps needed to be completed.
Firstly, ‘Well Being Audit’ was completed by all classes, listing all that has been done in our school in the area of mental health. This ranged from mindful meditation, to yoga sessions with a visiting instructor, to staying active and doing random acts of kindness. From this audit, focus areas were chosen and goals picked to further work towards in 2020/2021.
As this year was very different due to Covid 19 restrictions, we had to adapt our plans but still managed to continue to promote positive mental health. We selected 4 achievable goals to focus on for this year:
1) A school information board
2) A ‘Mental Health Awareness Day’
Our Mental Health Awareness Day where we ‘Let Our Insides Out’ back in December encouraged us all not to bottle up our feelings, but rather to talk and share our worries. By wearing our uniforms inside out, we highlighted the importance of not keeping worries or anxieties to ourselves.
3) Further develop our mindfulness techniques
After Easter, the whole school enjoyed a mindfulness and well being workshop with facilitator Elaine Browne from Perspective Ireland, encouraging positive affirmation and good breathing techniques.
4) Complete a successful fundraiser for Pieta House.
The Amber Flag initiative is being coordinated by Ms Lee