Monday, November 07, 2022

It Takes a Village workshop participants. Kiaza Callinan, Jefferson Jephete, and Kacey Callinan Photo: Conor Healy Photography

A mental health and well being support for young people and adults was launched in Graiguecullen last week.

Co-operative Housing Ireland (CHI) and Soar launched their ‘It Takes a Village’ Mental Health and Wellbeing Toolkit at Saint Fiacc’s Hall on Thursday. The toolkit was created in response to the ‘It Takes a Village’, programme: a series of mental health and wellbeing workshops held with young people and adults living in CHI homes in Carlow, Laois and Cork.


Speaking about ‘It Takes a Village’, Anthony Burrowes, CHI Member Engagement Manager said: “We held workshops for adults with a focus on understanding mental health and wellbeing and how it affects them and the young people around them. We held similar workshops with young people, highlighting the importance of talking to an adult when you are going through a difficult time. With the support of the young people who took part in the workshops, CHI and SOAR designed this toolbox.”

Pivotal to the toolkit was Soar, a collective movement which believes that there is greatness within all young people.

Clodagh Leonard, senior facilitator at Soar, said: “The aim of this project is to understand more deeply the needs of our young people. To recognise the issues that have a deleterious effect on their mental wellness and to connect more fully into the feeling of what it is to be young.”


She added: “We know that as we age, we forget not only the troubles of being a teen, we find ourselves leaning into the old tropes of ‘it’s just a phase’, but we also forget the magic: The feeling of first kisses, of albums that were written about exactly how you feel right now, about that person that is not noticing you back. The way you can almost smell the sun.”


The feedback of young people and adults from these workshops informed CHI’s and Soar’s development of the ‘It Takes a Village’ toolkit.


Speaking about his experience of ‘It Takes a Village’, Jefferson, a teenager from Graiguecullen said: “It was great to take part in ‘It Takes a Village’. I got to meet with people I knew as well as a variety of new and different types of people and learn how we can all communicate what’s going on for us in different ways.”


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