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Mental health accreditation for Magherafelt school

The school were accredited under the Take 5 programme.

Mental health accreditation for Magherafelt school

Students from St Pius X College, Magherafelt, following their Take 5 accreditation.

A County Derry school has become the first in Northern Ireland to receive accreditation under a preventative programme that supports students' mental wellbeing.

St Pius X College in Magherafelt received their accreditation last week for Take 5 Schools, whose approach focuses on self-care and what schools can do to look after their pupils' wellbeing.

Principal Peter Friel stressed the importance of being proactive when it comes to pupils' mental health.

“One of the major objectives of our school development plan is to be proactive through the delivery of a preventative curriculum,” he said.

“This means promoting the five steps to wellbeing: Connect, Give, Be Active, Take Notice and Keep Learning.

“Our ongoing focus has been on exploring what Wellbeing means and how we can maintain and enhance it, through the development of self-care strategies, practical workshops and pupil interactive activities.

Staff and pupils from the school receive their accreditation.

“These include a Restart Induction Programme, KS3 PSHE journals, KS4 and Post 16 BLOOM scenario-based programmes, a pupil bookmark with a list of techniques for improving wellbeing.

“The launch of our new SPX BEE WELL Instagram account has been led by our pupil Senior Leadership Team and supported by our Pupil Wellbeing Champions.”

Challenges

Mr Friel said that the programme would equip the school's young people to deal with challenges to their mental health in future.

“We believe this approach will leave young people with a better understanding of their own wellbeing and that of others,” he added.

“They will also acquire a suite of tools that can be deployed to maintain their own self-care both now and in the future.

“We wish to thank Ms Selena Ramsey (Public Health Agency - Health and Wellbeing Manager) and Mr Chris Lindsay (EANI – Education Welfare) and Miss Maeve Johnston (Centre Stage Performance School) for their guidance and support.”

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