THERE was great excitement in Carrignafoy Community College on Friday when the amber flag was hoisted aloft in the Cobh secondary school following their successful participation in the Pieta House Amber Flag Initiative.
They were awarded the amber flag for their successful promotion of positive mental health over the current school year. The Pieta Amber Flag Initiative recognised the efforts of everyone in the school who created a healthy and inclusive environment that supported mental well-being.
Carrignafoy Community College promoted positive mental health in the school by organising a number of initiatives throughout the school year.
Business teacher and wellness coordinator Liz McHugh was delighted with the successful initiative.
“We also recently raised €1,600 for Pieta in conjunction with achieving our amber flag status so we are thrilled,” she said, “We were delighted to raise so much for a great charity. We presented our student council members with the certificates and the flag was hoisted.
“It is the first time the school has been awarded an amber flag. It is great to see the flag flying. There is a great spirit in the school. We are delighted and very proud.”
The school engaged in a number of activities throughout the year to complete the process and secure their amber flag.
“We had a Mental Health Day and we fundraised for Darkness into Light,” she said. “We have a committee of students who came together to drive on this initiative. Every year is represented from first year up to sixth year.
“We have a good crop of kids who have given up their lunch breaks to ensure this initiative was successful. The student council gives students ownership and a sense of responsibility. It brings all the kids together. They are already looking forward to doing more initiatives next year.”
Ms McHugh who has been teaching for 18 years in the Cobh secondary school, said promoting good mental health is a key prioirty.
“We try to permeate it into every part of the school. Mindfulness and meditation are big things in school. The students really buy into it.
“Every school and community has its own battles. We decided as part of wellbeing, that promoting positive mental health would be a very positive initiative to get involved in. It is great for the local community to see that we do care about it.”