Promoting mental health awareness at grass roots level

By Mary Dennehy

THE importance of kindness and friendship, and the role they play in supporting positive mental health, was promoted and celebrated in a number of local schools last week.

NINA for Life Suicide Awareness, a community-led organisation that provides education and promotes mental health awareness at grass roots level, visited a number of schools to promote the value in kindness, friendship and reaching out.

Nina for Life buddy seat 2 scoil aoife

Scoil Aoife Community National School on Fortunestown Lane in Tallaght was visited by the NINA team on Monday, May 28, who brought the gift of a Buddy Seat for the school yard.

Donated by NINA to the school, the seat, which is a place for children to sit on if they are feeling alone or would like someone to play with, was crafted by Tallaght Men’s Sheds and painted by Noeleen Fulham from the Tree of Hope campaign.

The seat will provide a safe place for children to go within the school yard, and will alert other pupils and teachers that a child would like support and someone to play with.

NINA were also in Moyle Park College, Clondalkin, Kingswood Community College and Mac Daras Community College in Templeogue for their Mind Your Buddy Awards.

Friendship

These awards recognise young people who have supported a fellow student through kindness or friendship, with NINA believing that these traits should be recognised within schools.

Jean Haas, a co-founder of NINA for Life, told The Echo: “Nina for Life is hoping to emphasis the importance of kindness and reaching out, in a time where so many beautiful souls are being tormented by depression and anxiety.

“It’s more important now than ever to be kind to each other and there is nothing on this earth more to be prized then true friendship.

“We are honoured to present our Mind your Buddy awards to all of these fantastic kind and caring students.”

The group will also be presenting primary schools with Buddy Bears for looking out for each other through the Buddy Seat.

For further information on the work of Nina, visit the Nina for Life Suicide Awareness Facebook page.

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