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Stars of Irish broadcasting, sport, music, member of the Garda Siochana and PSNI came together with Minister Jimmy Deenihan to  support this unique student event themed ‘Together we can’.   Sixty one students of FCJ and accompanying teachers, were afforded a unique opportunity to attend this special daylong event hosted by Cycle Against Suicide, on Thursday, January 14th, 2016 at the RDS Dublin, to promote positive mental health in schools and communities across the island of Ireland.   The Student Leaders’ Congress, which saw 4,000 students gather from over 100 schools, was aptly themed ‘Together we can’ (a theme selected by Cycle Against Suicide Student Leaders) and sought to remind students, that it’s ok not to feel ok; and it’s absolutely ok to ask for help.

Congress group-Students of FCJ, not only participated in a carefully choreographed, high energy experience, but also showcased their own project work which they designed and created around the event’s theme. The Congress demonstrates, in a very special way, the value to students of appreciating their own mental wellbeing.   Daniel Wibbe, Katie Lawlor and Matilda Dunne-Cronin all TY students, created a blog called happyhealth123 which is full of quirky quotes, real-life stories and tips on how to look after your mental health.

Our teachers commented that “Our school was privileged to participate in this unique student experience hosted by Cycle Against Suicide and we were honoured to showcase our school’s work atCongress teachers this national event. The impact of this type of activity is far reaching, not just in our schools, but also in the community at large.  The atmosphere in the RDS today has been phenomenal “

The Student Leaders’ Congress seeks to highlight the importance of promoting positive mental health practices in schools and communities.  There is also an opportunity for students to interact with mental health organisations exhibiting on the day thereby informing the students of all the different help and support available to them, if and when it is needed.

MC’d by former Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh, 2FMs Louise Mc Sharry and Colm Hayes , the event featured interviews and discussions with high profile Cycle Against Suicide ambassadors, including Cork camogie player Ashling Thompson, adventure athlete and professional speaker Mark Pollock, Irish Rugby star Niamh Briggs, and Joanne O’Riordan (No limbs, No Limits). Walking on Cars, Heathers, Jerry Fish, and The High Hopes Choir all provided entertainment for the 4,000 students present.

Cycle Against Suicide founder Jim Breen said: “We held our first ever Student event in March 2013 at RTE’s studios. There were 40 student leaders in attendance that day. This year we have just filled the RDS with 4,000 students from more than 100 schools.  This is now the biggest youth mental health event of its kind in the world. Each year over the two weeks of our annual Cycle, we give presentations in schools, colleges and universities all around the island of Ireland and we witness how hugely responsive students are to the message that it’s ok not to feel ok; and it’s absolutely ok to ask for help. Today is a very special event as it is tailored exclusively to young people and we are delighted to have such high profile guests in attendance to encourage our students to appreciate their mental wellbeing.”

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FCJ Secondary School,
Co. Wexford
Tel: (+353)53-9377308
App: FCJ Bunclody