Day 4 of Mental Health Awareness Week

Thursday was a very busy day in Scoil Bhríde NS.  Mr Meade, the organiser and coordinator of the week, outdid himself with the help of other teachers and some 6th class media team pupils to arrange a live radio show addressing the issues of mental health.  

We were so lucky and grateful to have a panel of experts who gave up their time to be with us:


Mental Health Nurse: Katrina

Psychologist: Derek

Members of the Meitheal Group from Portlaoise college

The show began with Katrina addressing the 5th and 6th class pupils on her job and the various aspects of mental health that she deals with on a regular basis.  She gave some sound advice to the pupils.  Next, the Meitheal Group from Portlaoise College addressed the children.  They explained their role within the secondary school and the ways in which they work with First year pupils to welcome them to the school, give them tours, explain timetables and help them to settle in.  They also do some fun activities with them at various times of the year….they certainly put a lot of anxious minds to rest as 6th class pupils prepare to make the big move to secondary school in September.  

Next, the psychologist, Derek, addressed the children.  He explained the various ways in which children can recognise if they’re struggling with mental health issues and how to deal with them.

After this, the children of the Scoil Bhríde were invited to put questions to the panel.  This was incredibly interesting, insightful and helpful with lots of great tips and reassurance delivered! 


The next part of the show invited children to share the various hobbies and activities they enjoy to take their minds off schoolwork and any worries they might have.  We witnessed so much talent from Rainis (Mr’Lionaird’s) doing the most professional beatbox we’d ever heard, to Alex and Sophie O (Mr O’Lionaird’s) wowing us with their gymnastic skills to Joel (Ms Doheny’s) blowing our minds with his rendition of a Michael Jackson song! 


The next part of the show saw three 6th class pupils deliver their own presentation on the various challenges that children face today.  The areas of bullying, social media, low self esteem and more were explored by Ben, Rachel and Niamh (Ms Doheny’s) who definitely have a radio career ahead of them if they so choose!! They explained the dangers involved with some apps and so called “games” that are sweeping the internet at the moment, reminding the children to put their happiness and safety first. 

After all the entertainment, Mr Meade reminded the children of what a precious gift life is and that it shouldn’t be taken for granted or abused.  

He then did some mindful eating with the children.  They were all so excited to hear they were getting a sweet……excitement turned to cries of dismay when they learned they had to hold it and do nothing else until further instruction! They had to follow specific instructions from sniffing the sweet to touching it off their tongue to eventually holding it in their mouth before eventually being allowed to eat it!  The children had great fun! There were lots of laughs and giggles throughout the process! The idea behind mindful eating is that the children completely focused on the present moment and took enjoyment from it.  This can be done during any everyday activity – brushing your teeth or hair, having a cup of tea, anything that allows you to focus on the present moment and put the worries of yesterday and the anxiety of tomorrow out of your mind so the beauty of your present moment is not stolen from you! 

The show finished with some Focusing by Derek….

It was a wonderful show from start to finish with helpful, practical advice delivered to the pupils.  We hope anyone who was listening to the live show through our website enjoyed it as much as we did! 

A special word of thanks to all the teachers involved in the organisation and planning of the week – the main man, Mr Meade, and all those who supported him in any way, including Mr O’Lionaird for radio operations and the media team for their hard work and making sure the music, intros and sound were all at optimum levels. 

We look forward to celebrating the end of a wonderful week with a disco for each class level – Shout out to D.J Meade!!