CAS Amber Flag members Stephen Keegan and Jack Delaney presenting a cheque to Ruaidhrí and John from GROW.
By Lynda Kiernan firstname.lastname@example.org @laoisnews
It was a hectic Mental Health week for St Mary's CBS in Portlaoise recently, with a Masterchef, song contest and mountain climb among the activities.
Each day of the week from March 6 to 10 had its own theme, organised by the Amber Flag mental health student team, co-ordinated by teacher Stephanie Buckley.
Monday was 'Random Acts of Kindness' day and the team handed out 'mind your mind' packs to the teachers and students, with a thanks to Mountmellick CS who donated the packs earlier in the school year.
Tuesday was 'Healthy Eating and Exercise' day with free fruit sponsored by Dunnes Stores and the student council, while Ben from Portlaoise Leisure Centre visited to give talks to 2nd and 5th years.
“It was great to see local business getting behind our campaign,” said Ms Buckley.
Wednesday was 'Get Involved' day while part one of the Sound of CBS was held. Entrants performed a positive song and the winner over the two days chosen by judge Ms Quinlan, was Daniel Whelan who won a €50 One For All voucher.
Thursday was relaxation day and Mindfulness Ireland held seven meditation sessions involving students from all year groups.
That evening the second annual Masterchef CBS competition was held.
With tasty healthy dishes created by the entrants, it was a tough job for judges Mr Dooley and Ms Murphy.
Mr Cahilane made an arroz con pollo rice, Murdo Anton made a sweet and sour stir fry. Aaron Lynott made a mushroom and chicken vol au vent, Dylan and Adam made a lemon drizzle cake, Tom did a spaghetti stir fry and Dara baked anti-cholesterol cookies.
The winner was Murdo Anton who received a €50 One For All voucher.
Friday was 'Get help Give Help' day and a group of 30 students and teachers climbed Slievenamon mountain in Tipperary, in aid of GROW mental health services in Portlaoise.
“It was an enjoyable day that boosted our own positive mental health with socialising, exercise, fresh air, trying something new, helping others. The group rasied €950 for GROW who were delighted to receive it,” said Ms Buckley, thanking the Amber team, and students and teachers who took part.
“I would encourage people to continue to actively take steps to take care of their mental health and get help if you need it. Always remember our teams slogan -Be aware people care,” she said.
The week will now form part of CBS' applications to retain their Amber flag and Cycle Against Suicide ambassador status.