Clare Students recognised for Mental Health Project

Clare Students recognised for Mental Health Project


Photo: Arthur Ellis

On the final day of national ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’ 2021, a group of Clare students have been presented with an ‘Investing in Children’ Award for their development of an innovative Mental Health Tool: ‘I-Can – Mind My Mental Health’.

The aptly named ‘I-Can’ was created and developed by a group of young people from St Joseph’s Secondary School, Tulla, Co Clare, aimed at supporting the well-being and resilience of young people. I-Can is a pocket-sized tin can that contains daily mindful activity cards that young people can do on their own, with family members, or in a group. It also contains a QR Code which when scanned, brings you to a bank of further mindfulness resources and activities hosted on the Tusla website.

I-Can stemmed from the need for an accessible tool to support young people to adapt to the various stages of Covid19, managing their lives with a positive, strengthened outlook. The project which originated from and was funded through a Tusla Child and Youth Participation initiative was developed in conjunction with HSE Clinical Psychology, St Joseph’s Secondary School, and Tusla’s Clare Prevention, Partnership and Family Support (PPFS).

The launch of I-Can and award presentation will take place outdoors at St Joseph’s Secondary School, Tulla, Co Clare tomorrow and will be attended by a small number of the school’s students, staff, and guests.

Speaking about the achievement, Aisling Mulhall, Senior Child and Family Support Network (CFSN) Coordinator, Tusla and project lead, said: “This project is a brilliant example of how young people can participate and make an impact in their own lives and the lives of others. The project is a testimony to the wonderful young people in St Joseph’s Secondary School, Tulla and the energy and enthusiasm of professionals working in Clare, especially the staff in HSE Clinical Psychology and in St Joseph’s Secondary School.

Olivia O’Connor, Guidance Counsellor at St Joseph’s Secondary School, said: “Our students showed unbelievable resourcefulness with the way they embraced the theme and developed this resource.  I was and am constantly amazed by their innovation. The ‘I Can’ really is of young people, by young people and for young people.”

“It was a great way to help us and others overcome the challenges posed by Covid19 and living through lockdown.”  TY Student

Juliet Coman, Principal, at St Joseph’s Secondary School went on to say: “As a school, we are so proud to be involved in the ‘I-Can Mind My Mental Health’ project. It is time we spoke openly and frequently about minding our mental health and promoting wellbeing. Building a resilience tool has taken this initiative to a new level. I am proud of our students and teachers who have played such a vital role here and am very grateful to Tusla. I sincerely hope that many young people benefit from this resilience tool.”

The project group consisted of nine Transition Year students, three school staff members; two guidance counsellors and the Transition Year coordinator, three Clinical Psychology staff and two Tusla Prevention, Partnership and Family Support (PPFS) staff.

Photographed above: Eoin Donnellan, Vivienne O Sullivan, Ella Donovan, Noah Doherty, Laura Nolan, Matthew Boland, Darragh Leamy, Dillon Gunning, Ava Kennelly, Eimer Culloo with Juliet Coman- Principal St Joseph’s Secondary School Tulla, Olivia O Connor- Guidance Counsellor St Joseph’s Secondary School Tulla, Aine Mellett- Senior PPFS Manager, Tusla, Aisling Mulhall- Senior CFSN Coordinator, PPFS, Tusla, Michelle Coleman- Clinical Psychologist, HSE Clinical Psychology, Susan Quain- Assistant Psychologist, HSE Clinical Psychology and Eliza Walsh- Assistant Psychologist, HSE Clinical Psychology – Photos: Arthur Ellis.