The students and staff of Davis College in Mallow, Co. Cork have been busy this year organising and participating in a number of positive mental health events.
Davis College house system
The house system promotes healthy competition and friendship among students of all year-groups. There are four houses based on Irish Celtic mythology. Students receive house points throughout the year for being helpful and positive. They also have a positivity board which details images and slogans to raise people’s spirits on a daily basis.
‘Just Be You’ film
This film recently won the best school and best song award at the Cast Film Festival. It was compiled by getting fourth year students to anonymously list what was bothering them. The teachers and students then put together a film, the dialogue of which is based on the students admitting their worry. The teachers acted as the teenagers’ future self by passing a message back to the teenage 16 year-olds.
The over-riding message of the piece was to tell your 16 year-old self to ‘Just Be You’. The film is now used as a talking point for other year groups to highlight to the students that they’re not alone in their fears and that their worries are common to many teenagers.
Annual ‘mind your buddy’ day
This day is held at Donerail Park where students are encouraged to run, walk or relay 10km. Through this event Davis College raise funds for Pieta House. The focus is on taking part and believing that you can achieve something when you set your mind to it. Last year the TD and businessman Jim Breen and Joan Freeman, the founder of Pieta House, were in attendance.
Christmas jumper day
Each year Davis College had a staff and student Christmas jumper day which is rapidly becoming a Christmas costume day as everyone competes to win the much craved “best dressed” title and with it selection boxes.
Inaugural missing persons’ day
On 4 December, Young Social Innovator (YSI) students from Davis College attended the inaugural missing persons’ day held in Farmleigh. It was realised that families of the missing really needed a platform to talk about their worries and loss, so Davis College students petitioned the government to create an annual day where the families get a chance to be heard. This campaign also won the students the YSI gold title for 2012.