WCDP launches mental health programmes for primary and secondary school children

Posted on: 5th December, 2016

Category: News

Contributor: West Cork People

Pandora’s Box is a four-week programme being offered to children in the primary school setting to teach them the skills of Emotional Intelligence. Targeted to second and third class, the children will participate in fun activities to develop the following skills, emotional self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and self-discipline. The programme is based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and covers strands of Social Personal Health Education and Primary Curriculum. The programme for secondary school students will focus on understanding and coping with anxiety.

Anxiety is a normal part of everyday life. In teenagers the prevalence of anxiety related disorders is problematic and can lead to social difficulties, panic disorder, risk of early school leaving and on occasions the consequences of using self-harm to elevate the symptoms of extreme anxiety.

The four-week programme covers identification of the various indicators of anxiety. The group are instructed using a variety of methodologies including role play, reflective practise and open dialogue group participation is encouraged using a range of these activities and opportunities to disclose are an intrinsic part of the programme.

An awareness of the various distorted thinking styles i.e. all or nothing thinking, over-generalising, mental filter, emotional reasoning, magnification, labelling and personalisation is developed using relevant information and delivered in an adolescent friendly format.

Strategies for changing distorted thinking styles are delivered in the form of practical exercises, a layering approach is used in the delivery to encourage the process of categorisation in terms of learning style.

These programmes will be rolled out in 2017. Any schools interested in these programmes should contact Donna Treya at donna@wcdp.ie for more information.

These programmes are provided by the Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme, funded by Cork County Council and the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.

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