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Mind Yourself, Mind Each Other - Young People Speak Out On Improving Mental Health and Wellbeing

02/08/2018

This year's YAP National Event on our theme of Mind Yourself, Mind Each Other - Young People Speak Out on Improving Mental Health and Wellbeing was held in Croke Park on Thursday 26th July 2018. 

Young people, parents/carers and professionals from all over Ireland came together to present on the topic of mental health and wellbeing - and how we can all improve it. The day was hosted by our CEO, Siobhán O'Dwyer and Youth CEO, Jenny. 

We saw some amazing projects presented:

  • Young people from Dublin interviewed the Gardaí to explore how and why their interactions can be negative, and to discuss how the young people and the Gardaí can misunderstand each other. They also made a calendar about the power of positive thinking. (You can find out more about this project here).
  • Young people from Meath presented artwork they had made using images of things that make them feel good. (You can find out more about this project here).
  • Young people from Louth presented the amazing wishing tree they had built for the new Tusla offices in their area and a young person performed an amazing song for the 200 plus people gathered in Croke Park! (You can find out more about this project here).
  • Our Youth CEO  group presented the initial findings of their Action Research project which is examining how young people feel about social work and how things could be improved upon. 
  • Our Cavan group told us about the amazing sculpture project they undertook - where they made life-sized clay models of their own heads! (You can find out more about this project here).
  • Young people from Limerick told us all about the beautiful mural they painted on the walls of the training room in our Limerick office to make it a more welcoming, young person friendly space. (You can find out more about this project here).
  • The Mighty Midlanders told us about their 'survival kits.' (You can find out more about this project here).
  • Our Galway group told us about interviewing Gary from Jigsaw in Galway and shared artwork they had created. (You can read more about this project here).
  • Young people from Cork shared their plans to write a letter to the Minister to share the thoughts of young people on how to improve mental health services for young people in Ireland.
  • Our Dublin parents group shared their brand new leaflet about how much the parents group has meant to them and they showed us a video they made about setting up a fitness group! (You can watch the video here and read more about their leaflet here).
  • Our National Youth Forum had the premiere of their brand new animation - based on ideas from young people from all over Ireland and created by a young person from Dublin. (You can watch the animation here - look out for it across our social media channels!)

We were also delighted to be joined by guest speakers Dr. Fergal Lynch (Secretary General of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs), Aidan Waterstone (National Manager, Tusla), Professor Ursula Kilkelly (Dean of the School of Law, UCC and Chair of the Board of Oberstown Children's Detention Campus), Superintendent Colm Healy (An Garda Siochána) and Craig Ronaldson (Connacht rugby star and YAP Ireland Ambassador). The guest speakers shared their expertise and insights on our theme. 

It was a brilliant day. We're already looking forward to next year!