Castleisland Interagency Youth Forum organised a very successful event for a group of second level students in the Castleisland area on Tuesday.
The event, which took place in the Ivy Leaf Art Centre, was organised for third and transition year students from all three post primary schools.
The keynote address was given by Dr. Fergus Heffernan, renowned psychologist, psychotherapist and a leading educator in the area of mental health, wellbeing, family and teenagers.
Dr. Heffernan told the group that life is about relationships the most important one being the relationship we have with ourselves. He also touched on issues such as exam pressure, stress and the use of alcohol and drugs as a means to try and reduce stress.
Thoughts Written Down
Dr. Heffernan told the gathering that anxiety affects the whole family. He advised that thoughts should be written down so as to rationally sort out problems and he emphasised the power of ‘listening to understand and not to reply’ and also of the importance of telling our story – ‘telling our story makes us better’ – he said.
Dr. Heffernan spoke on the fact that despite everything that is learned during school years, we do not learn the language required to talk about ourselves.
He encouraged the students to ‘work hard and do your best, have a good sense of who you are’ and, he continued: if you can say “I’m me and I’m proud of me you can go anywhere.”
Forum member Con Cremin also addressed the students. He highlighted that the work of the Castleisland Interagency Youth Forum was to assist in youth issues in the area.
He also touched on the impact that substance abuse has on oneself, families and the wider community.
Mr. Cremin thanked Dr. Heffernan on behalf of the forum.
The event, which was funded by North East and West Kerry Development through the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme, was praised by students and teachers alike.
Related to Young People
Castleisland Community College students, Denise and Janine thought ‘it was very good and very interesting and the message to talk about issues came across clearly.’
Community college teacher, Maria Moriarty felt that it was fantastic and she noted how well Dr. Heffernan related to young people.
Other comments include ‘inspiring’ – ‘great connection with the kids and very real.’
The morning concluded with the launch of a wallet size card highlighting numbers of essential support services in the area and also providing specific information on alcohol awareness.
A card was presented to representatives from each of the three schools: Castleisland Community College, St. Joseph’s Girls’ Presentation Convent Secondary School and St. Patrick’s Boys’ Secondary School.
All 150 students who attended received a card and they will be distributed to all other second level students and ancillary services over the coming weeks.
The forum which was established in 2010 is made up of representatives from: Health Service Executive; Kerry Diocesan Youth Service; North East and West Kerry Development; Kerry Travellers’ Health & Community Development Project; Castleisland Family Resource Centre; Talbot Grove; Jigsaw Kerry and An Garda Síochána.
When it comes to partying, it pays to party safely. Don’t let your guard down when socialising. Remember to keep yourself safe. Keep your belongings safe and your friends safe.
A good social life and celebrations can be enjoyed without alcohol. That’s the advice from the Castleisland Youth Interagency Forum.
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