The Amber Flag initiative aims to encourage, promote and actively bring about a culture change in the area of positive mental health within the school. It aims to enhance the already good work that is going on where mental health is concerned. There is wonderful work going on in the school and clubs etc on an individual basis. What the Amber Flag does is acknowledge these efforts and unite all schools/clubs/societies/community groups in the promotion of “Positive Mental Health”. It becomes a daily topic of conversation leading to a cultural shift where mental health becomes “The Norm” leading to the breaking down of “Stigma” that is associated with mental health resulting in individuals seeking help sooner, when mental health issues arise.
In Ardee Community School, the Amber Flag committee was set up in 2015. Ms. Crilly, Ms. N. Murphy and Ms. E. Lennon took it upon themselves to run the committee. The committee is made up of students from various years who willingly dedicate their time to promote positive mental health and to spread awareness.
We aim to:
- Promote mental health and well-being for all.
- Prevent mental health problems through increasing awareness, social support, reducing risk factors such as racism, bullying and isolation.
- Improving quality of life for students/people with mental health problems by promoting recovery through awareness and education.
Currently the school has been awarded the Amber Flag in 2016. In order to be awarded the Amber Flag the committee had to identify three goals which are achievable within the school year which actively promote positive mental health. Our Amber Flag team have achieved their goals and have subsequently awarded the flag. In the past years the Amber Flag committee took part in the Christmas Shoe Box Appeal initiative which was a great success. They also joined the members of the Student Council committee and ran a fundraiser for ‘Aware’.
As for next year, the Amber Flag committee is going to continue promoting positive mental health and spreading awareness in Ardee Community School. The committee is also going to identify new goals which can be addressed during the year.
The Amber Flag committee holds regular meetings and new members are welcome to join.