On Wednesday 12th of September, the now annual 'Cycle Against Suicide Ambassadors Schools Awards Ceremony' was held at the Royal Society of the King’s Inn, Dublin. These awards recognised the immense efforts of fifty schools around the island of Ireland who have completed the Ambassadors School Programme and became actively involved in mental health promotion. The Ambassador School Programme is one aspect of a wide range of events and initiatives, is school led, and involves the completion of “Five Gears” over the course of a year, all of which is aimed at raising awareness of the message that 'It’s OK not to feel OK, and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help.'
The programme provides a framework for schools to integrate mental health activities into the school plan and reward schools who go the extra mile. The programme also aims to recognise innovative and effective initiative’s and facilitates schools to share and showcase good practice.
At the special reception, Oakland’s Community College was awarded the Prestigious status of Ambassador School by Cycle Against Suicide in recognition of their fulfilment of the five gears, and their exceptional commitment to the promotion of Positive Mental Health.
Oakland’s Community college was represented at the event by Link Teacher Ms. Patricia Harrington and students Adam Hanlon and Jill Brierty, who are understandably very proud of their achievements. “Our Participation in the Ambassadors Schools Programme has had an enormous positive impact on our school community, fostered a school-wide approach to the promotion of positive mental health, and provided incredible opportunities for student leadership and teamwork” said Jill Brierty. Minister for European Affairs Helen McEntee was one of those presenting the awards to students on what was a very positive enjoyable day for all involved.