Growing a Healthy, Positive Me among 200 local school children

Children transitioning from primary to secondary school have been learning how to support their own well-being through an initiative delivered through a collaboration of local partner agencies, including leading mental health charity, Action Mental Health.

The move to ‘big school’ can often present many challenges for children, and in response, the Larne and Carrickfergus Locality Planning Group (LPG), part of the Children & Young People’s Strategic Partnership (CYPSP) and the Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NHSCT), offered the mental health promotion project to P7 pupils in the Larne and Carrickfergus areas.

The project, ‘Growing a Healthy, Positive Me,’ is based on Action Mental Health’s Healthy Me programme, which promotes well-being across Northern Ireland’s primary schools and raises awareness of mental health issues among children, their teachers, parents and key contacts.

The initiative aims to improve outcomes for children, young people and families in the area, with mental and emotional well-being identified as a priority.

Action Mental Health’s MensSana teams delivered 30 minute, bitesize ‘Healthy Me’ sessions to P7 classes, online, while they were homeschooling. The sessions led children through the principles of the Five Ways to Well-Being, which are key steps designed to promote overall well-being, and reached almost 200 pupils in nine schools.

The sessions were followed up with an arts and crafts project, in which pupils were asked to design a ‘Tree of Strength’. The Tree of Strength helped to reinforce the positive messages of the online sessions and prompted children to reflect on their own, individual strengths. It also helped to illustrate positive strategies children can use to cope with the challenges they may face in future.

 

The completed pieces of art were then entered into a competition for a chance to win a monetary prize sponsored by the Larne and Carrickfergus LPG which could be used to purchase Health and Well-Being resources for their schools.

The ‘Growing a Healthy Positive Me’ programme was evaluated as making a very positive impact on the children, who rated it as ‘very good’. One pupil said: “I loved taking time to think about all of the things I can do and the people I can talk to, to help me feel positive about myself and reduce my anxiety.’

A teacher also commented: “The webinar was interactive and very well thought out. Children really loved discussing and drawing the Tree of Strength. It is so relevant during these difficult times of lockdown.’

Kate McDermott, Health & Wellbeing Manager, Northern Health & Social Care Trust commented: “This is a very positive and welcoming initiative aimed at children transitioning from primary to secondary school during these challenging times. It reflects the responses from the Northern Area Parents, Children and Young People Survey 2020 which highlighted the need to address emotional health and resilience of children and young people at a local level”.

 

Karen Hillis, Service Manager with AMH MensSana commented: “The Growing a Healthy, Positive Me’ was a great initiative for Action Mental Health to be a part of, and it was an excellent example of collaborative working between the partner agencies of the Larne and Carrickfergus Locality Planning Group, Action Mental Health as well as all the schools and children involved.”

Carrickfergus Locality Planning Group Annual Youth Fair

On Tuesday 11 February, the Carrickfergus Locality Planning Group held their annual Youth Fair in Oakfield Community Development Centre.

Over 400 Year 10 pupils from Carrickfergus Academy, Carrickfergus Grammar and Ulidia Integrated College attended a very enjoyable and interactive day. Pupils had an opportunity to engage with 16 exhibitors offering support, services or activities in their area.

The main theme of the fair was ‘Take 5’ with information on a wide range of areas available including volunteering, drugs, alcohol, physical activity, health and wellbeing.

 

StreetReach Project Carrickfergus and Larne -July 2020

‘StreetReach is a 5 day community outreach project with a festival feel in Carrickfergus, Larne and the coastal areas. The project which is a collaboration between Summer Madness and YMCA Ireland is funded by the Education Authority Youth At Risk scheme. It will be run by young people with the aim of regenerating hope and working towards a local legacy of leadership.

Running 1-5th July 2020, young people can sign up to join a team and work alongside Host Groups in the areas who are putting together great interactive community projects for the teams to engage in. Teams can access full camping facilities at Glenarm Castle and receive all meals, transport and training all while gaining volunteer hours and active citizenship experience.

For more information or to register: https://streetreach.co.uk/teams/

South Antrim Community Network Training & Awareness Schedule 2019-20

South Antrim Community Network Training & Awareness Schedule for Emotional Wellbeing, Mental Health & Suicide Prevention 2019/2020 is now available.

To register your interest, you must complete the attached booking form or request one by calling 028 9447 8645 or email janine@southantrimcommunitynetwork.org.

Further information will be required upon confirmation of booking.

Click the flyers below for more information and dates.

 

 

South Antrim Community Network – Training & Awareness Schedule 2019/2020

These training opportunities have been funded by Public Health Agency and are offered Free of Charge to people who live and/or work in the localities of Antrim, Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus.
Additional criteria may apply for certain sessions.

To register your interest please call 028 9447 8645 or email
janine@southantrimcommunitynetwork.org

View the training Schedule and booking form here.