Fergal Fox, Health and Wellbeing Lead, HSE; Katherine Dowling, PhD student; Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway; Minister Catherine Byrne, Minister of State for Health Promotion; and Anne Sheridan, Mental Health Promotion/Suicide Prevention Officer, HSE. Photo: Marc O’Sullivan
National Launch of Newly Revised MindOut Programmes for Schools
The MindOut programme, developed by NUI Galway and the HSE is proven to strengthen young people’s coping skills and improve overall mental health and wellbeing
The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, T.D., and Minister of State for Health Promotion, Catherine Byrne T.D., have launched the revised MindOut programme for schools and the youth sector. Training in the programme will be provided by the HSE and the National Youth Health Programme.
The programme, developed by the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway and the HSE’s Health Promotion and Improvement Department, has been proven to strengthen young people’s social and emotional coping skills and improve their overall mental health and wellbeing.
The MindOut programme has been developed to support the social and emotional wellbeing of young people aged 15-18 years in Irish post-primary schools and youth sector settings. It aims to give teenagers time and space to identify what impacts on their mental health and to develop the skills needed to deal with these issues in their lives.
Launching the programme in Dublin, Minister Richard Bruton, said: “I am keen during my time as Minister to make sure that we are doing all we can to support students, teachers and schools in the area of Wellbeing. It is so important that our young people are equipped with the necessary resilience and coping skills to successfully manage whatever challenges they encounter in their lives. The MindOut programme supports students at a critical time, late teens, which can often be a stressful time for young people. The revised programme has been trialled in DEIS schools with very positive results so I’m delighted today to announce that it will now be rolled out to post primary schools all across the country.”
Minister with responsibility for Health Promotion, Catherine Byrne T.D., said:“The MindOut programme is an excellent resource offering support for students and young people in improving their social and emotional wellbeing. It has been developed in consultation with young people, teachers and youth workers, and the results to date are very encouraging. They show that the programme has a very positive impact in our schools and in the youth sector, helping young people to cope in difficult situations, improving their mental health, and enabling them to reach their potential, to think well and be well.”
The schools-based programme involves 12 classroom-based sessions, whilst the youth sector version is designed in modular format to be responsive to the needs of the particular group. The revised programme was piloted in DEIS schools and Youthreach centres before being finalised in 2017. A total of 18 training days will be provided to teachers and six training days will be provided to youth workers across the country this autumn.
Referring to the results, Professor Margaret Barry from the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway, said: “The study findings show that the MindOut programme has very positive benefits for adolescents, leading to improved social and emotional skills such as coping and emotional regulation, and reduced levels of stress and depression, including for the most vulnerable young people. These findings support the delivery of the MindOut social and emotional learning programme in the senior cycle curriculum and the important impact it has on enhancing students’ resilience, mental health and emotional wellbeing, which play a key role in supporting positive outcomes in school and life more generally.”
Dr Cate Hartigan, Assistant National Director, HSE Health and Wellbeing said that the programme revisions were informed by the extensive research with the participating schools. Dr Hartigan also acknowledged the contribution of all involved in the development of the MindOut programme including young people, teachers, youth workers, the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway, NEPS, HP&I, CAMHS, Jigsaw, NYCI, youth workers and Youthreach tutors.
The MindOut programme was originally developed in 2004, and was revised in August 2017 based on the feedback received from teachers, youth workers and young people following an evaluation of the original programme. This extensive evaluation, supported by additional PhD funding from the Irish Research Council, has been conducted by Professor Margaret Barry and PhD student, Katherine Dowling from the Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway.
Teachers can register for MindOut Training on, www.sphe.ie and Youthworkers can register for MindOut Training on, www.nyci.ie.