Cllr Maria Doyle
MENTAL health education aimed at secondary school pupils could benefit 5th and 6th class pupils, according to Louth County Councillor and Dundalk teacher Maria Doyle.
The CBS Primary School teacher made the suggestion after a presentation given by two Comhairle na nÓg representatives at a Louth County Council meeting held in Dundalk on Monday, January 15.
Aoife Byrne and Jordan (Chucky) McKenna distributed a booklet to councillors at the meeting called 'Breathe' which aims to raise awareness about mental health amongst teenagers.
“I used to work in an American company where employees did breathing and stretching exercises every day as part of the daily routine,” said Cllr Maria Doyle.
“I asked Aoife and Jordan where Comhairle na nÓg is planning to distribute the booklet and they said to secondary schools.
Comhairle na nÓg is hoping to distribute 10,000 copies in different secondary schools around Co Louth.
The youth organisation is also planning to host a series of workshops in secondary schools in the year ahead.
“I asked if they had considered distributing the booklet to primary schools because it might be of interest to 5th and 6th Class pupils.
“I think mental heatlth education should be taught in schools. It's something that would be very beneficial to pupils.”
Cllr John McGahon added that mental health issues can arise in teenagers due to social media. He also warned teenagers using the social media platform SnapChat to be aware of the potential dangers caused by the SnapChat map.
“People forget that it's turned on and don't realise that the 200 contacts in your phone can see where you are at all times if they are within a 200m radius,” he said.
“It's a very digital age we are living in. Social media is growing and we are only coming to terms with it now.”
Cllr Marianne Butler added: “Cllr McGahon's point on social media is very relevant. We are just recognising that there are a lot of negative aspects to it.”