The Association of Teacher Education Centres in Ireland (ESCI), working in collaboration with Headstrong and the SPHE, has secured funding for the development of an initiative which aims to involve post–primary teachers nationwide in an ‘awareness raising programme’ on the issue of teenage mental health. It is envisaged that this initiative will support schools in their development of a whole-school approach in the promotion of positive mental health for all as outlined in the recent DES publication Well – Being in Post Primary Schools.
The initiative aims to involve all post primary sectors (Voluntary, VEC, Community and Comprehensive). The roll–out of the initiative to schools will be facilitated by the Network of Education Centres. Initially each Full-time Education Centre will recruit 3 teachers in the period May-August 2013 to train as ‘lead facilitators’. Two days training and a 1-day review will be provided early in the 2013/2014 Autumn Academic term for those chosen, with full substitution where required. These newly trained lead facilitators will promote and deliver an awareness programme (2 sessions of 3 hours each) in out-of-school time for post-primary teachers for their local full-time and part-time Education Centre catchment areas through a series of workshops to be delivered during the remainder of 2013/early 2014. Details of this stage will be forwarded to all schools early in the Autumn term, 2013.
Given their breadth and depth of experience and expertise in this area, Headstrong and the SPHE Support Service, in collaboration with NEPS and the HSE, are leading on the development of the content and delivery of the training. The trained facilitators then act as lead facilitators to promote and deliver the awareness programme for post-primary teachers in their own Education Centre catchment area through a series of workshops to be delivered during 2013/2014 Academic year.