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TY students from St Joseph's Secondary School have been highly commended for their I-Can project by Young Social Innovators (YSI) Ireland.

Tulla students ‘Highly Commended’ for mental health project

ST JOSEPH’S Secondary School has been recognised for a project designed to raise awareness of mental health supports and resources. 

The Tulla school was Highly Commended in the Young Social Innovators (YSI) Ireland Mental Health Awards, supported by the Health Service Executive (HSE). Students were praised for their I-CAN project, entitled Make Our World Healthier.

The project was developed in response to a perceived lack of accessible resources to help young people manage their mental health throughout the pandemic. 

The students wanted to provide young people with a physical tool that they could use to combat stress and anxiety.

They developed the innovative I-CAN – a tin containing advice, activities and information resources for young people to help them cope in tough times. In the future, the team plans to make I-CANs available to other schools in the area and hopefully on a national scale.

This years YSI programme saw participation from 6,123 Irish teenagers from 209 schools and organisations and the development of 423 social innovation projects nationwide on a wide range of issues including health and wellbeing, diversity and inclusion, the environment and sustainability and many more. Some 35 shortlisted projects competed for todays headline and Challenge Awards with a variety of innovative projects.

Young Social Innovators Co-Founder and CEO, Rachel Collier, said, Each year, I am blown away by the passion and creativity of Irelands youth. Every year, we see future leaders creating social innovations and addressing the challenges we are facing at local, regional, national and international levels.

“These young citizens will help shape our economy, our culture and our future political arena. They have a huge part to play in shaping our future communities and society, and to be able to give them a platform to share their brilliant ideas is a huge honour.

“This generation, Gen Z, show a great understanding in what can be achieved to create a more fair, inclusive, and sustainable society. It is truly humbling to witness such incredible passion and enthusiasm for important social causes impacting across generations.

“From all at YSI, we extend our sincere congratulations to todays new title holders, along with each and every student who took part in projects throughout the year.”

Addressing this years participants via letter in advance of the Awards, President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, said, ”The Young Social Innovators Programme has, for over twenty years, encouraged young people to take a critical look at our shared world and reflect with vision and creativity on how we can improve that world.

“Across those years we have witnessed, again and again, the real will that exists amongst young citizens to achieve a fairer and more equal society and to become actively involved in effecting change.”

They are qualities we witness once again this year with all those shortlisted for an award proving themselves to be socially aware young citizens, with so much potential to contribute to the transformation of Ireland.

“May I commend each and each and every one of you for responding with such innovation, generosity and energy, not only to the challenge of imagining how you might contribute to real social change, but also to the more difficult challenge of turning your ideas into positive action.”

Now in its 21st year, YSI focuses on empowering Irelands young people to reimagine the world and the communities they live in, by developing and implementing ideas that help create a fairer, more equal and sustainable world.

This year’s awards ceremony was compered by Virgin Medias Zara King along with former Hometown member, and YSI Speak Out Tour Host, Dayl Cronin. It was a huge celebration of teenagersachievements in what has been another challenging year for students and their teachers.

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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