Co-ordinators: A. Garvey/A McWalter
As the 2021-2022 school year draws to a close we would like to commend all of the members of the amber flag team who have worked so hard this year and have ensured that we have renewed our Amber Flag for the coming academic year. We shared the slideshow below with Pieta House at the end of April. Not only did they award us another flag, but they also sent a lovely email to the team praising them for their commitment to the promotion of positive mental health in our school community. Certificates were sent for all team members, and they were distributed during our school achievements ceremony on May 25th.
We were delighted to receive our Amber Flag in 2019 and organised a flag raising ceremony on World Mental Health Day October 10th during our Positive Mental Health Week, to celebrate this achievement and to raise awareness across our whole school community of the importance of working together to promote positive mental health. The whole school attended the ceremony.
We will continue to work to promote positive mental health across our whole school community, and in doing so we will maintain our flag through the process of assessing what the student’s needs are in relation to mental health and planning initiatives that meet those needs. Continuous engage with this process will mean that we renew our Amber Flag annually.
The Amber Flag Team for 2021-2022 are:
Isabelle Patton Fenn
Flying the Flag for Positive Mental Health
Flag Raising Event 2021
The 2021-2022 Amber Flag Team gathered with Co-ordinators Ms Garvey and Ms McWalter, Principal Mr McCaffrey and Deputy Principal Mr Cunnane to raise our most recently awarded Amber Flag.
Planning for the Year Ahead – 2021/2022
The Team have decided that they will organise the following events to promote positive mental health among our school community and to fundraise for Pieta House:
Walking for Wellness Event
BCS Bake Off Competition
Marking World Mental Health Day 2021
Walking for Wellness Event
Congratulations to all the students and staff who successfully reached their goal of walking 1,000km in one day. Each year group came out for one class period and walked laps of the school campus. Our combined total exceeded our 1,000km target. While the weather may have been grey, the combination of fresh air, exercise and camaraderie along the way ensured that everyone returned to class with a pep in their step. Walking for Wellness was the first activity organised by the Amber Flag Team for the 2021-2022 school year and marks World Mental Health Day which takes place on Sunday 10th October.
Our Goals for 2019-2020
- We will organise a flag raising ceremony on World Mental Health Day as part of our school’s Positive Mental Health Promotion Week.
Goal achieved: October 2019.
- We will create and launch our Amber Flag notice board to share information about our teams efforts to support the mental wellbeing of everyone and to create a healthy and inclusive learning environment for all.
Goal achieved: Novemebr 2019.
- We will remnd our junior cycle student of the importance the Ballinamore Community School places on kindness and friendship by having an anti-bullying module included in their SPHE classes.
Goal achieved: February 2020.
- We will get studnets exercising outisde in the fresh air at lunchtime to improve their metal and physical health. This will also raise awareness among students of our annual hosting of the Darkness into Light walk in aid of Pieta House.
Goal achieved: March 2020.
The Amber Flag Notice Board
Anti-Bullying SPHE Programme
20 Days of Walking Challenge
Darkness into Light Launch March 2020
We launched our DIL event for 2020 on Monday March 25th. The launch was attended by our students, staff and sponsors. MEP Maria Walsh was invited to officially launch our 2020 campaign. Maria has worked extensively to promote positive mental health through her work as an MEP, as the Rose of Tralee and as an Ambassador for Jigsaw.
Unfortunately, Darkness into Light 2020 had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Pieta House renewed our Amber Flag in 2020 in recognition of the work undertaken to promote positive mental health at BCS. As co-ordinator I would like to thank the team for all their dedication and hard work. I also wish to congratulate them on the renewal of our Amber Flag. It has been both a privilege and a pleasure to work with such a wonderful and enthusiastic team.
Darkness into Light 2021
Unfortunately, we cannot gather together this May to show our support for the outstanding work of Pieta House. However, we have all learned how we can stay in touch, work together, support and encourage each other “virtually” over the past year. Throughout the pandemic Pieta House have continued to provide help and support to people in crisis. The lockdowns coupled with the requirement to maintain social distance has made it more difficult for all organisations to raise the funds that they need. However, many organisations, like Pieta House, are experiencing a growing demand for their services and they need donations now more than ever.
This year the Amber Flag Team are asking everyone to register for DIL 2021 and to spread the inspiring story of Darkness into Light among your friends, colleagues and wider family. Every person that takes part, ensures that another crisis call is answered, another appointment to see a therapist is made – even another life saved.
Last year Pieta House were able to provide 52, 000 hours of intervention and bereavement counselling and to answer 70, 000 calls and texts to their 24/7 helpline. They also supported over 800 people and families who had been devastated by the loss of a loved one to suicide.
Let’s come together (virtually, of course) and bring hope to all who have been impacted by suicide and self-harm in Ireland.
“If you, or anyone you know are in suicidal distress, self-harming, or have been bereaved by suicide and would like support, please contact Pieta”