Promoting positive mental health and wellbeing in Irish schools

Walk in My Shoes is a mental health awareness and education campaign run by St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services. The campaign focuses on promoting mental health awareness in schools across Ireland.

Develop a Positive Mental Health Culture 

We can all experience high level of stress as part of modern living, and this can lead to feelings of anger and anxiety, lowered self-esteem and self-confidence and depression. And as young people spend up to a fifth of their week in school, if the school environment develops a culture of positive emotional health, then young people learn that they can talk about and express emotions in a cultural of respect. 

With this type of foundation in mental and emotional health, there is a strong chance that these young people will carry that learning throughout their lives. And learning about mental health from a young age will help reduce the stigma associated with mental health which can be a needless barrier to accessing treatment.  

Walk in My Shoes Initiatives 

Walk in My Shoes runs a number of initiatives throughout the school year that are designed to promote positive mental health in schools.  These initiatives include: 

Mission Possible; School Achievement Awards recognises schools from all over Ireland for their effort and contribution to tackling the stigma surrounding mental health both in the classroom and in the wider community.   

Frame of Mind short film competition is open to secondary school students.  To enter Students, create a 2-3-minute-long video that tells a story they feel portrays a positive mental health message.

Transition Year Programme – we run five-one week long programmes every year that focus on various aspects of mental health as well as the career options available in this sector. 

#MindYourSelfie Day aims to promote awareness of our free MindYourSelfie resource packs. We ask everyone to take a ‘selfie’ and post it on social media using the hashtag #MindYourSelfie. 

Walk in My Shoes Resources 

MindYourSelfie activity packs are free to use resources that have all been developed to promote a positive mental health. These packs include the following resources: 

• Our range of short mindfulness audio and video pieces are an effective way to introduce mindfulness and meditation into your classroom. These exercises not only help to improve students’ mindfulness but function to relax the tension and tightness that has built up within the body and mind. 

• Mindful colouring asks students to focus on how they choose and apply colour in a design to bring their awareness to the present moment. The classroom mindfulness colouring activity can help students feel more relaxed by paying attention to the present moment.

• Our mental health and wellbeing calendar comprises daily actions that students can complete to promote positive mental health and mindfulness. 

• With our Selfie ‘Steem activity students share positive messages about one another. 

• Wellness Journals provide young people with a template to record their feelings and thoughts as a once off assignment or as a daily activity. 

Visit WalkInMyShoes.ie/mindyourselfie for more information about our great, free to use, mental health resource packs. And join our mailing list for reminders about our competitions and closing dates.