More than 18,500 senior-cycle students in secondary schools in every county in Ireland have taken part in Aware’s revised positive mental health programme Beat the Blues in the past four months.
Devised by Aware under the guidance and direction of the organisation’s Clinical Director Dr. Claire Hayes, and funded by the Tesco Charity of the Year scheme, the programme which focuses on positive mental health and how to deal with challenges in life, as well as building strength and resilience for the future, is especially important given the difficult situations which many young people in Ireland now face.
Speaking at a media event yesterday Dr. Hayes said, “Educating young people at this age about mental health is so vital, and we know that the more coping tools a person has, the better their outcome in times of stress. Beat the Blues is a proactive programme and helps young people develop the resources to deal with any issues they face now or in the future. The key message of the programme is that there are always helpful actions that young people can choose, no matter how unhappy, distressed or worried they may feel. Beat the Blues teaches young people to acknowledge their feelings, identify their thoughts as ‘helpful’ or ‘unhelpful’ and most importantly, focus on helpful actions they can take: this is a message which is so fundamentally important for our young people to hear. We are delighted with the feedback we have had from more than 18,500 students who have participated so far and we look forward to bringing it to many more schools before the summer holidays.”
Beat the Blues is available free of charge to every secondary school in Ireland, thanks to the fundraising efforts of the 15,000 Tesco staff members nationwide, and it’s customers, as part of the Tesco Charity of the Year Programme 2012 & 2013.
Michelle Mahon, Corporate Responsibility Manager for Tesco Ireland says the company is delighted to support this important programme: “Our staff and customers in communities across Ireland have been raising funds specifically for Aware’s schools programme since April, and we are thrilled to have collected over €700,000 to date to fund the roll out of Beat the Blues.”