March 9-13 sees the return of Positive Health Week to Meán Scoil Mhuire.
Supported by management, staff, and a committee comprised of teachers and fifth year students, the aim of the event is to promote positive health, raise awareness of mental health issues and to solidify the link between physical activity, relaxation, friendship and mental wellbeing.
Speakers will visit each of the year groups throughout the week, and students will be invited to participate in break and lunchtime activities along with a canal walk for non-exam students. Class teachers will also try to incorporate the theme of wellness into their respective subjects.
Highlighting the five emotional ‘wells’ common in holistic practice; cognitive, emotional, creative, spiritual and physical, the event will see speakers from Aware and Cura address the students, along with Clinical Psychologist Shane Martin, Occupational Psychologist Paul Marsden, Mark Nobel from Longford Youth Services, Jim Maher of Foróige, representatives from Drugs and Alcohol Awareness, and former Longford Town soccer player, Sean Prunty.
The Art department will once again embrace the theme of wellness by displaying students’ work from their Mental Health Projects. Drama will be included with a performance by Psycho-spaghetti and students will be introduced to activities including yoga, zumba, tug-of-war and reflexology, with visitors also giving demonstrations and tips on skincare, make-up and healthy foods.
The school airwaves will be taken over as two students become resident DJs for the week, playing upbeat songs to lift everyone’s spirits. The intercom will be used to raise awareness of bullying and its causes and effects, with short drama pieces recorded by the Transition Year to really help put the message across.
On Tuesday, March 10, the importance of volunteering will be emphasised, with local volunteer groups visiting the school to promote the work they do and to encourage the senior students to sign up. The week will conclude with a concert, featuring the many talents of Scoil Mhuire’s students!
The teachers also immerse themselves in the event, and participate in a number of ways. As well as taking part in teacher versus student competitions (including a volleyball match and a table quiz), they embrace the week by sharing some healthy (and some not-so-healthy!) snacks at break-time. Homely touches were added last year to the work environment, from flowers to nice soap.
After a highly successful event last year, students and staff alike are looking forward to what this year has to offer, in the hopes that it will continue to be an effective way to promote positive health in every aspect of life.