Pieta House's resilience programme for students

Pieta House's resilience programme for students
Taking part in the UCC Darkness Into Light 5k walk/run in aid of Pieta House was this group from Passage West. Picture: Denis Minihane.

The Cork branch of Pieta House is set to roll out a new resilience programme in local secondary schools next term.

It is hoped that the new approach can become a key preventative measure, stemming the flow of people into the service.

“This will be a nationwide programme but I know there's a large demand in Cork,” said Pieta House Cork Funding and Advocacy Coordinator Angela Horgan.

“It's a six-week programme for second-year students. We know second years would be particularly vulnerable. What it does, it doesn't really talk about suicide specifically, but the students discuss topics like body image or social media or bullying or exam stress, and then they're given the skills to cope when life doesn't go to plan.” 

Ms Horgan said the aim is to try and get students to realise that even bad days come to an end, and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“It will be September by the time that is rolled out, when the schools are back. We have done a couple of pilots with local schools but it will be September before it really kicks off,” she said.

“The schools in Cork are particularly proactive because there have been tragedies that have shaken whole communities. But the schools here are really good at linking in and they have some fantastic mental health strategies. A lot of them have the amber flag which is awarded for promoting positive mental health. I find the schools in Cork are really open.” 

“A lot of the public would question if you talk to a young person about suicide are you giving them ideas or putting that thought in their head. No. Research has show that that is not the case. Nobody should be afraid to talk to anyone about mental health or suicide.”

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