Jigsaw One Good School
Jigsaw’s One Good School is a comprehensive initiative, which supports the mental health and wellbeing of young people, and those around them, by developing a shared responsibility across the whole school community. The Bish is currently in our second year of participating in the One Good School Pilot Project. This initiative provides a comprehensive programme of education workshops and specific initiatives for students, teachers, parents and school leadership personnel to support well-being. Workshops to date include: -
Mental Health Awareness
The school engages in a number of initiatives to promote Positive Mental Health within the school. These vary widely dependent on the year group and age cohort. 5th Year and 6th Year students usually have a guest speaker in the gym while other year groups will be met in their classrooms. Agencies that have been used in the past include TeenLine, ReachOut, Pieta House, Jigsaw, Bodywhys, Samaritans, Youth Work Ireland, Aware, Amber Flag and Cycle Against Suicide. A lot of initiatives are promoted through our Headstrong Committee including the Colour Run, Stand Up Awareness Week, Anti Bullying Week and the Month of Remembrance to name a few. Both our Guidance Counsellors are available for personal counselling and the Care Team meet regularly within the school. External agencies are engaged with where appropriate.
Friends Youth Programme
As part of resilience building, students undertake the Friends Youth Programme. This programme is embedded in their Wellbeing classes throughout First Year and is promoted by NEPS (National Educational Psychological Services).
Amber Flag Programme and Headstrong Programme (Cycle Against Suicide)
The school achieved the Amber Flag for the promotion of Positive Mental Health in 2016. We believe strongly in continuing this promotion and are currently engaged with the Headstrong Programme in association with Cycle Against Suicide. We have been an Ambassador School for Cycle Against Suicide for 7 years in a row.
An Tobar Nua
All 1st Year students, throughout the year, are brought to An Tobar Nua with one of the Guidance Counsellors in groups of no more than 6 students at a time. They are escorted and supervised there and back. It allows the Guidance Counsellor to interact with the students more directly, reminding them of the services that are on offer (both personal and educational guidance and counselling). Students are treated to a hot chocolate or a beverage while in An Tobar Nua. Space is given to chat and play board games. As part of the buddy system, from time to time, students from Transition Year or Prefects will also be present and will interact with the 1st Years.
For many LGBTQ+ young people, homophobic and transphobic bullying are serious issues that not only limit and prevent the formation of a positive identity but hinder them from feeling safe, supported and affirmed for who they are in school. Today more and more LGBT people are ‘coming out’ at a younger age and are living openly with the support of their family, friends, school, community, workplace and neighbourhoods. Despite these progressive leaps, life can still be quite difficult for many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, including young LGBT people who are not ‘out’ or who are not supported by family, friends and their communities. Being affirmed and respected for who one is, is critically important to the formation of a positive self-identity. Our Guidance Counsellors can provide a safe space for any LGBTQ+ student to speak in confidence if they need to. Our Headstrong Team are working hard to support LGBTQ+ students in the school by actively supporting events like Stand Up Awareness Week and also undertaking training by BelongTo.