Education System & Emotional Counselling

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Working on the Topic:

One of the most important aspects of Comhairle na nÓg is that it allows young people to select and work on topics of importance to young people locally.  The work of the Comhairle na nÓg on these topics includes: getting the views of other young people, doing background research, meeting with local decision-makers, developing surveys, organising meetings, making videos, producing leaflets or posters, developing online materials and other activities.  This work culminates in the Comhairle na nÓg members seeking to make an impact or change to improve the lives of young people.

The 2016 working topic for Dublin City Comhairle na nÓg (as voted by young people attending the AGM in October 2015) has been the ‘Education System & Emotional Counselling’ for students in schools and centres. In order to develop and work on the topic members invited a panel of experts on the education system to a Comhairle meeting in early spring. Consequently, members voted to:

  • Make a video for teachers about their students’ problems and make a video for students about how to deal with teachers and school.

  • Liaise with organisations to bring in proper emotional counselling. Submit to D.O.E [Department of Education & Skills] along with statistics and surveys and demand government commitment.

Additionally, a submission was made by the Comhairle to the Assessment of DEIS programme (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools). The submission focuses on Emotional Counselling services and supports for young people attending DEIS schools.

Examples of other topics Dublin City Comhairle na nÓg have worked on include Cyber bullying and Mental Health.  Comhairle members created a booklet on cyber bullying, called “Be a cyber buddy, not a cyber bully.” The booklet includes stories, poems and resources and asks all young people to sign the cyber code and become a cyber buddy.  To become a cyber buddy young people are encouraged to never cyber bullying, be aware how they present themselves online and report any cyber bullying they encounter.

When working on the topic of Mental Health members made a DVD called “Dare to Talk”, which is a useful resource for young people, schools, youth services and community groups to support young people in maintaining good mental health.  The DVD comprises 5 different clips which aim to highlight both the importance of communication and of having at least one adult in their lives in whom to confide.  Comhairle members wrote and produced their own song about Mental Health called “Tunnel Lights”.  The song and the making of it is one of the clips on the DVD.  To launch the DVD Comhairle members organised a music event “Dare to Listen” in the Academy 2 to highlight the importance of music to young people’s Mental Health.

Image of Comhairle nanOg event