Three County Armagh schools were recognised for their achievements at the Investors in Mental Health Awards, hosted by AWARE NI, the depression charity for Northern Ireland.
Dromintee Primary School, Lismore Comprehensive and St. Ronan’s College in Lurgan were among the winners as two hundred guests assembled at the Europa Hotel to celebrate the second ceremony of its kind with a stellar line-up of speakers.
The Investors in Mental Health Awards by AWARE NI recognises schools, individuals or organisations making a significant contribution to promoting positive mental health in Northern Ireland.
Schools across Northern Ireland received the accolade for hosting mental health awareness programmes for their pupils, including Paws b Mindfulness or Mood Matters for Young People. Schools were also recognised for hosting student talks or setting up support groups for young people. The Investors in Mental Health award will enable them to showcase their robust pastoral care system.
Corporate organisations were also recognised for adopting AWARE as their charity partner and delivering colleague well-being programmes, including Living Life to the Full or Mood Matters in the Workplace and outstanding fundraising efforts.
There was also recognition also for individuals who undertook outstanding fundraising initiatives and challenges to raise funds contributing to the services AWARE delivers across the province.
There were several inspirational talks throughout the day. Attendees heard from Pure Mental, a youth-led organisation that campaigns for mental health education and early intervention in schools, personal development coach Annette Kelly also known as Little Penny Thoughts, who talked about her mental health journey of anxiety and depression and also held a workshop on resilience, confidence and self-care.
Guests heard from Danske Bank, who nominated AWARE NI as their charity partner in 2021, raising over £100k and Al Mennie, who swam 100km in the dark during lockdown, also raising funds for the charity.
Depression is currently the leading cause of disability worldwide; at this time, 1 in 9 people in Northern Ireland are living with a diagnosis of depression. AWARE wants to highlight the importance of good mental health and encourage open discussions. The Investors in Mental Health Awards will seek to create a community celebrating positive mental health.
Karen Collins, CEO of AWARE NI, said, “Celebrating champions in mental health has never been more important to us at AWARE. The Covid-19 pandemic has placed a strong focus on the need for vital mental health services in our communities. We are delighted to recognise individuals, schools and corporate partners who have been proactive in raising awareness of the support available and introducing our wellness programmes into their place of work or school. The Investors in Mental Health Awards recognises and celebrates those helping to make schools and companies a better place for those who need support.”
To find out more about the Investors in Mental Health Awards, how to become an Investor in Mental Health, or to check out the full list of 2022 winners, go to www.aware-ni.org