As part of Mental Health Awareness Week Irish FA staff have been delivering school PE sessions relating to themes of anti-bullying, resilience and tackling loneliness.
One of the hooks for Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 has been to wear green. The green ribbon is the international symbol of mental health awareness.
With the help of the Irish FA’s mental health partner TAHMI (Tackling Awareness of Mental Health Issues), Let Them Play officers children and teachers took part in Mental Wealth Games.
Among those who enjoyed this week’s activities were pupils from Brooklands Primary School in Dundonald who wore their green Northern Ireland kits, GAWA shirts and other sporting attire.
Claire Rea, Irish FA Sports Programme Co-ordinator, said: “One of our objectives in delivering the Department of Education’s School Sports Programme is to provide support to teachers through information and resources in promoting young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
“We are delighted to be able to do this through a series of fun, engaging physical activities that keep children active, reinforce positive messages and empower young people to talk about their wellbeing.”
James Thompson, Director of Foundation Development at the Irish FA, added: “Mental Health is an on-going conversation, one of the main benefits of this program is that it increases mental health awareness of children to start these conversations with family and friends.
“Combined, it will help everyone better recognise when they or someone might need some help.”
Another school which took part was Gortin Primary School which is based outside of Omagh.
Mrs Dixon from Gortin PS said: “The children really enjoy the games played. They found it a useful way to understand mental healthiness.
“As a teacher, it is a very useful teaching tool. As the children enjoyed it, they don’t realise they were learning and improving their understanding of good mental health and how to help if they are experiencing mental unhealthiness.”