The Pieta Amber Flag Initiative recognises the individual efforts of primary and secondary schools, youth reach, third level institutions, community groups, clubs and companies to create healthy, inclusive environments that support mental wellbeing. We were delighted and proud to say that TCG earned our first Amber Flag two years ago have retained it since. Well done to the Staff & Student Wellbeing Committee, pupils, staff, and parents for their commitment and dedication to promoting Positive Mental Health in our school.
Wellbeing Panel Discussion
Speaking to over 700 students at Temple Carrig School Wellbeing Week, sports pundit and mental health advocate Brent Pope, Dublin Footballer Shane Carthy and Paula Mc Loughlin, Chair of A Lust for Life, chatted about tools to use on a daily basis to tackle mental health challenges head on. When asked by presenter Niamh Holohan of the Aura Holohan Group what strategies they put into practise to manage their mental health, Brent spoke of how he kept his anxiety a secret for 30 years and how he tries to achieve something every day and connect with someone in person to feel good. He advised the students to ‘’write down what it is you’re really worrying about and say, ye ok if I fail this exam or if I break up with someone or if I don’t make the sports team, is that the worst thing that can happen? There’s another option, maybe I’ll go for another team, maybe I’ll meet another girl or boy.’’ Brent also advised the students to ‘’have a toolbox and put things in place that make you feel better when you need them like getting out for a walk or spending time with a friend.’’ Dublin GAA Player Shane Carthy, who opened up about his struggle with depression in a blog post which SportsJoe covered before Christmas titled ‘I’m No Longer Surviving I’m Living’ (https://www.sportsjoe.ie/gaa/role-exercise-played-dublin-footballer-recovering-mental-health-battle-188250) inspired the audience speaking about how far he has come and attributes getting outside to an open field or park and exercising as one of his key coping mechanisms. Shane told the students ‘’I still have my good days and my bad days’’ and reinforced that’s its ok not to be ok and to reach out for help. Paula McLoughlin, Chair of A Lust For Life which was founded by Niall Breslin, spoke about simple strategies like #soundeffect. She told the students ‘‘Lets just be a bit sounder to each other everyday, and ourselves’ and that ’wellbeing is actually quite a mis-used word, ultimately being happy is not about being in a constant state of euphoria, it’s about feeling centred and content within yourself and being kind to yourself and those around you.‘’ Brent echoed this when discussing the topic of social media which can be a breeding ground for teenagers for negativity and judgement and said ‘’You all have a responsibility to be kinder to each other’. What does that look like? It looks like a kind word instead of a nasty word, take away judgement.’’ When referring to the word ‘normal’ panellists explained that we all experience some degree of anxiety, stress and sadness, we are born with these emotions. We need those emotions to survive, just like our limbs. Its ok to not be ok just like its ok to have an injured limb. Shane told the students that ‘’Its about seeing the other side of your thoughts. Try flipping your thoughts from negative to positive. It’s not always going to be like that, I have conveyer belt of emotions and I accept them as they come around, fear, happiness, sadness, but I just accept, notice them and keep on moving on.’’ When a student asked about people romanticising and self-diagnosing mental illness, Brent said ‘having anxiety around exams, relationships, sports team or homelife is just a normal part of being a young person, its actually good for you to have that anxiety. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are having a panic attack or bouts of depression. Please don’t self-diagnose normal teenage anxiety or low moods. When it starts to distract you from living your life, then it’s good to go and see somebody and talk about it and get back on track. ‘’ As the panel discussion came to a close Niamh asked each panellist ‘’If you could go back and tell your teenage self, one piece of advice, what would that be?’’ Shane explained ‘’be more open minded. For me I was very tunnel visioned with my life and sport and I had no regard for my health. So be mindful of how others are feeling and be mindful of other people around you.’’ Brent followed this with ‘’I would say have some self-belief in who you are and where you are. Treat every day as a new challenge and something exciting in your life. You don’t have to conform to anyone or anything else. Be happy in your own skin. Your good and life will be wonderful for you.’’ Paula responded to say ‘’I would go back and tell myself I am enough, I have everything I need right now . It’s about comparing yourself to yourself and not to somebody else. Be the best version of you. Not somebody else.’’
For those of you who are new to the school, this is a campaign run by a company called Noggin Sport. The aim is to open up a discussion about our mental health and encourage everyone to ‘mind their noggin’! Last year, our Student Wellbeing Committee designed a beanie hat in our TCG colours and these were available for purchase for a cost of €15. Please contact email@example.com
The Student Council in TCG plays a vital representative role for the student body.The Council is fundamental in helping shape and inform school policies as well as playing an important role in all aspects of school life. Members are very active in making things happen in new and interesting ways. The Student Council cares about all students welfare and wellbeing please don't hesitate to contact your class rep if you have a concern or issue. Please see the list above for your call rep for the academic year 2020/2021.
Student Advice Centre
The ' Student Advice Service' will be run by the Student Wellbeing Committee. This is a means of students getting advice from other students and particularly older students. You have two choices. You can drop a note into the big white postbox outside the Red room or the black postbox outside reception, this method will be totally anonymous. Alternatively, you can email studentwellbeing firstname.lastname@example.org. Note : These emails will be moderated by the Wellbeing Coordinator and we will bring the concerns to the committee but they will not be made aware of who the concern came from. The committee will come up with the advice and any replies which could help more students will be posted here on the website .