Helping you get through tough times

ReachOut Ireland Schools’ Policy

There are a number of ways ReachOut.com can be of help to young people’s mental health in schools.

Content from ReachOut.com can be used during class, or for projects by students and teachers as appropriate.

We can provide information on promoting positive mental health in your school through our Classroom Champion Challenge and we can arrange a visit to your school.

School visits from ReachOut.com

There are two options for a school visit from ReachOut.com; a talk or a workshop. The difference depends on the number of students involved.

Workshops

These can be held with up to 30 students and include lots of interactive activities and small group work.

School talks

For more than 30 students, a talk can be organised giving a presentation. This can include short video clips, open discussion and elements of individual and small group work.

We also offer our Note to Self activity to students.

Learning outcomes

For our standard talks/workshops, we focus on:

  • What is mental health? The term ‘mental health’ will be explored and students will gain an understanding about what it means and discuss the language used around it
  • Looking after your mental health.
  • The tough times we all go through will be acknowledged and discussed such as stress, conflict with parents, relationships etc.
  • Where to go for support? Students will learn where and how to seek support if they or a friend are going through a tough time.
  • Empowering young people around their health and mental health
  • How can ReachOut.com help? ReachOut.com will be explained and promoted as a resource for ongoing mental health information and support.

Schools should consider the following:

Please let us know in advance of any issues among students before a school visit. For example, if there has been a recent suicide among students, staff, their families or within the local area. Is self-harm, bullying, abuse etc. a particular issue among the students we are talking to?

Please ensure all school staff are aware of our visit.

We expect at least one teacher to remain in the classroom at all times during our talk/workshop.

We aim to keep things positive and in general, we don’t talk about suicide, unless it is brought up by a student. If it is brought up, we will aim to steer the conversation towards support and help-seeking.

Our content is age appropriate and aligns with SPHE learning outcomes. With sufficient notice, it may be possible to tailor content to match specific requests from students.

Please consult your school’s policy about child protection and whether parents should be notified ahead of visiting speakers. We recommend parents are notified about our visit and are encouraged to check out ReachOutParents.com.

Our staff are not health professionals or counsellors, but do have considerable expertise in the area of mental health and young people. We are supported by a clinical adviser who is a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist.

While we are once-off visitors to the school, the ReachOut.com service is available as an ongoing resource for students and teachers.

If any issues arise during our visit, such as disclosures of distress, abuse, self-harm, suicidal ideation, we have a duty to report these issues to an appropriate teacher. We will then work with the teacher to ensure the student(s) involved is (are) connected with appropriate support. We may need to consult with our clinical adviser when issues do arise.

Get in touch

If you are interested in having a ReachOut Ireland team member visit your school, please email general@reachout.com. All school visits are subject to staff availability; the more notice you give us the better.

We do not charge a fee for visiting schools, but as we are a charity, any donations towards our expenses either on the day or through a subsequent fundraiser are greatly appreciated.

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This article was last reviewed on 23 April 2017

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