Pieta Blog - Pieta House launches Resilience Academy schools programme

Pieta House launches Resilience Academy schools programme

Date: 4th April 2017
Author: Brian Campbell

RTE’s Bryan Dobson and Eoghan McDermott - along with Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Helen McEntee - today launched a new school resilience programme developed by Pieta House.

The aim of the six-week Pieta House Resilience Academy is to equip Second Year students with the emotional resilience tools to ensure that they won’t need the services of Pieta House as adults.

Speaking at the Dublin launch, Dr Paul Surgenor, Director of Research, Education & Training at Pieta House said, “We created the Resilience Academy to reduce the number of deaths by suicide of schoolchildren in Ireland.

Dr Surgenor continued, “There has been a 163% increase in the number of under 18s presenting to Pieta House due to suicide or self-harm in the last five years. In 2016 alone, over 1000 teenagers received treatment at Pieta House.

“This programme was designed by students for students. Each Second Year group chooses the modules relevant to them, and so they receive practical solutions and resources that they can use on a daily basis.”

The charity has successfully piloted the programme in four schools. This resulted in statistically significant higher levels of resilience, as well as higher levels of hope for the future, an ability to handle upset feelings, and connection with their school. Pieta House are now ready to roll out the Resilience Academy in schools across Ireland.

Eoghan McDermott said, “Resilience is something that everyone just expects you to be able to develop by yourself. But most of us need a little help. And by allowing students to choose the topics most relevant to them, the Resilience Academy gives young people those vitally important tools and resources.”

Minister McEntee stated that “We all want our children to be able to face any challenge the future may provide.  Coming a year before the Junior Certificate Wellbeing programme, the Resilience Academy provides an invaluable first step in developing these essential skills in our nation’s young people.”

RTE broadcaster Bryan Dobson said that it could only be beneficial for schools to consider offering the Resilience Academy to students. “When you consider the increasing amount of news stories around Ireland centring on youth mental health and the issues of suicide and self-harm, such a programme aimed at schools has to be welcomed.

“It’s an evidence-based programme and has been designed to increase student resilience, coping strategies and help-seeking through the engagement of both students and school staff.”

For more information on the programme and to enquire about running the programme in your school, visit www.pieta.ie/training or call the Pieta House Training & Education Coordinator at 01 628 2111