Mental Health in Irish Schools is a Transition Year Project which aims to promote conversation and understanding of Mental Health for students in both secondary and primary schools in Ireland.
The project began in summer of 2020 and will end in May 2021.
Since it started Aisling Murphy (15-year-old founder) has set up a petition to Irish Government to investigate providing a system of mental health supports in Irish Schools and has just begun recording zoom interviews with those interested in adding their voices to the discussion. She has a mental health fair planned for her school (pandemic allowing) and is pulling together the details of the work she has completed in one document which she hopes will allow other students in other schools to run similar campaigns and awareness events in the future.
The petition has collected over 500 signatures so far and counting, but Mental Health in Irish Schools hope to collect many more signatures as Aisling believes this is an issue many students, parents, teachers, professionals and politicians feel very strongly about. The petition can be found at https://my.uplift.ie/p/MHIIS.
For the interviews, Aisling has spoken to Mark Ward, TD and published it to the Mental Health in Irish Schools YouTube Channel. Jim O’Callaghan, TD and Marina Dillon, Psychologist in Training took part last week. Aisling is speaking with Maria Parker today, who is a clinical nurse specialist (child and adolescent mental health) and a psychotherapist; and she is due to speak with Mary Butler, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People next week.
She hopes that by speaking to a wide range of people with differing interests and experiences, these interviews will promote discussion of the issues and raise the awareness that these supports are very much needed within the school system.
Mental Health in Irish Schools is inviting you to take part either in recorded interviews, or via guest blog post if you have something you would like to add to this discussion. The Expression of Interest form may be completed here.
Aisling can be contacted via the website https://mentalhealthinirishschools.wordpress.com, and on Facebook and Instagram at Mental Health in Irish Schools.