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Launch of newly revised MindOut Programmes for schools

Proven to strengthen young peoples’ coping skills and improve overall mental health & wellbeing Mindout image

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, T.D., and Minister of State for Health Promotion, Catherine Byrne T.D., today (October 1st 2018) launched the revised MindOut programmes for schools and the youth sector. Training in the programme will be provided by the HSE and the National Youth Health Programme (NYHP).

The MindOut programme has been developed to support the social and emotional wellbeing of young people aged 15-18 years in Irish post-primary schools and youth sector settings. It aims to give teenagers time and space to identify the things that impact on their mental health and to explore how they deal with these issues in their lives.

The programme, developed by the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway and the HSE’s Health Promotion and Improvement Department, has been proven to strengthen young peoples’ social and emotional coping skills and improve their overall mental health and wellbeing.

Launching the programme today Minister Bruton said: ‘‘I am keen during my time as Minister to make sure that we are doing all we can to support students, teachers and schools in the area of Wellbeing. It is so important that our young people are equipped with the necessary resilience and coping skills to successfully manage whatever challenges they encounter in their lives. The MindOut programme supports students at a critical time, late teens, which can often be a stressful time for young people. The revised programme has been trialled in DEIS schools with very positive results so I’m delighted today to announce that it will now be rolled out to post primary schools all across the country.”

Speaking about the launch, the Minister with responsibility for Health Promotion, Catherine Byrne T.D., said “The MindOut Programme is an excellent resource offering support for students and young people in improving their social and emotional wellbeing. It has been developed in consultation with young people, teachers and youth workers, and the results to date are very encouraging. They show that the programme has a very positive impact in our schools and in the youth sector, helping young people to cope in difficult situations, improving their mental health, and enabling them to reach their potential, to think well and be well”.

The schools-based programme involves 12 classroom based sessions, whilst the youth sector version is designed in modular format to be responsive to the needs of the particular group. The revised programme was piloted in DEIS schools and Youthreach centres before being finalised in 2017. A total of 18 training days will be provided to teachers and 6 training days will be provided to youth workers across the country this autumn.

Teachers can register for MindOut Training on www.sphe.ie.

Youthworkers can register for MindOut Training on www.nyci.ie.

The MindOut programme was originally developed in 2004, and was revised in August 2017 based on the feedback received from teachers, youth workers and young people following an evaluation of the original programme.  This extensive evaluation, supported by additional PhD funding from the Irish Research Council, has been conducted by Professor Margaret Barry and PhD student, Katherine Dowling from the Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway.

Referring to the results, Professor Margaret Barry said:

“The study findings show that the MindOut programme has very positive benefits for adolescents, leading to improved social and emotional skills such as coping and emotional regulation, and reduced levels of stress and depression, including for the most vulnerable young people. These findings support the delivery of the MindOut social and emotional learning programme in the senior cycle curriculum and the important impact it has on enhancing students’ resilience, mental health and emotional wellbeing, which play a key role in supporting positive outcomes in school and life more generally”.

Dr Cate Hartigan, Assistant National Director, HSE Health & Wellbeing said that the programme revisions were informed by the extensive research with the participating schools. Dr Hartigan also acknowledged the contribution of all involved in the development of the MindOut programme including young people, teachers, youth workers, the Health Promotion Research Centre, NUIG, NEPS, HP&I, CAMHS, Jigsaw, NYCI, youth workers and Youthreach tutors.




Last updated on: 01 / 10 / 2018