Thursday October 10th is World Mental Health Day . Our Mental Health has got to do with us taking care of ourselves, our well being, having friends and people we can go to if we need to. It is about being positive, trying things out and doing our best. It is about being resilient when the going gets tough. It is also about being friendly to others and allowing others to help you when you need it.
This year our annual Mental Health Week is taking on the theme “Walk in my shoes”.
St Patricks Hospital Dublin provides support and care for young people and adults with mental health issues. A few years ago they set up ‘Walk in My Shoes’ as an awareness and fund-raising campaign. Fronted by U2′s Adam Clayton, ‘Walk in My Shoes’ was established after a 16 year old in St. Patrick’s University Hospital said he wished his friends could put themselves in his shoes and gain a better understanding for mental health difficulties
This week all our students in their SPHE & Religiion classes will look aty the issue of Mental Health and gain more understanding around some of the issues that arise for young people and mental health. We are using some excellent resources from Walk in my shoes campaign, Jigsaw, Mental Health Matters and HSE material. We will ask all to reflect on some of the posters and reflections around the school and we will have some school assemblies on the theme. On Thuesday Joan Tierney from HSE will address sone of these issues with our fifth and sixth year classes.
On Thursday we will hold a “Funky Shoe Day ” where students can wear whatever footwear they like to school and we ask them if they can afford it to donate €1 to St Patricks Hospital. There will be a prize per year for the most funkiest shoes. The serious message however will be reinforced all week about not judging others and we will remind all to think about the ways we can judge others especially those that walk, talk or look a little bit different from us and think before we speak or judge.
It is affirming to see in this weekend newspapers that the key message from the incoming head of the Catholic church in Ireland Archbishop Eamon Martin is “we must learn how not to be judgemental” and this is the attitude we want our young people to have towards others who struggle with their mental health . Also parents might be interested in knowing the Sunday Independent and Irish Independent all the week are running a serious on Minding Ourselves – caring for our mental health.
Think about it:
“You do not set the standard. You have not walked in my footsteps, danced in my shoes, or lived in my world. Do not judge me, point your fingers at me, or become experts on my life. Instead, celebrate with me in times of joy and cry with me in times of pain. Only then will we begin to understand each other”.
“Always put yourself in the other persons shoes. If you feel that it hurts you, it probably hurts the other person too.