Mental health project targets city’s transition-year students

A citywide teen mental health project will be launched in Cork today.

Mental health project targets city’s transition-year students

Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr Emmet O’Halloran will unveil his MentaliTY initiative, aimed specifically at transition-year students, at City Hall this afternoon.

It is a joint initiative between Mr O’Halloran, Suicide Aware and The Institute of Guidance Counsellors.

It will involve 1,800 transition-year students attending a series of workshops next month exploring issues such as bullying, addiction and self-harm.

All the students who participate will also be surveyed on their attitudes towards mental health.

This will be the first time that such a large sample of teenagers in the Cork area have been surveyed on mental health issues, Mr O’Halloran said.

The findings will be presented to Junior Minister for Mental Health, Kathleen Lynch.

The issue of teen mental health is an area Mr O’Halloran, a qualified guidance counsellor, identified as needing further study after his election as deputy mayor.

“Studies have shown that mental health issues are a major concern for teenagers,” he said.

“As a guidance counsellor myself, I am acutely aware of many of these issues — things like self-harm, cyber-bullying and parental separation.

“These are very relevant issues that sometimes go undetected.”

Mr O’Halloran said he hopes the project will tap into the existing guidance counsellor resource already in second-level schools.

Meanwhile, the lord mayor of Cork has urged people to attend the annual City Hall hospice coffee morning on Thursday for Marymount Hospice in Curraheen.

* The mental health launch takes place today in the Millennium Hall, City Hall, from 10am to 12.30pm.

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