High standard at schools debate
The second round of the Wicklow County Public Speaking Project which forms part of the national competition organised by Mental Health Ireland took place in the Grand Hotel, Wicklow.
Pitted against one another were teams representing Colaiste Bhride and Avondale Community College. The purpose of the Wicklow Mental Health Association hosted event is to create awareness amongst young people over the need to take care of our mental health and to decrease the stigma of those who struggle with mental illness.
The Colaiste Bhride team opened the evening with a tongue-in-cheek tone of praise for the educational system whilst introducing their topic 'True Education should promote the 3 R's: Reduce Stress, Return to old values, and Recycle negative experiences into Positive challenges.'
The team carried out a survey in their school asking students which items they felt they could not live without. To their disappointments students mentioned gadgets and mobile phones rather than family or friends. Stress, which is a major cause of ill mental health, could be reduced by slowing down and getting away from gadgets, minding one's diet, getting enough sleep and spending time with family and friends.
The Avondale Community School's project was titled 'Hope has the Audacity to reach a hand into Darkness and come out with a Handful of Light.'
They stressed how there will be dark moments and life isn't always easy but how important it is to support the various organisations like Pieta House which offers free counselling to people who are suicidal or self-harm.
The adjudicators felt that the presentations by both teams was of a very high standard and that both teams should proceed to the next round.
Colaiste Bhride, Avondale Community College and Colaiste Chill Mhantain will participate in the final of the National Public Speaking Project for Post-Primary Schools and Colleges in County Wicklow taking place in the Grand Hotel on Wednesday (January 15) at 7.30 p.m.