We are delighted to present our Youth Mental Health Zine. Our zine is a culmination of workshops, research and MANY many discussions and consultations on how we can best support and raise awareness around managing stress, anxiety and looking after our mental health. We focused on managing exam stress and linked with local supportive organizations including Jigsaw and the Access UCC PLUS Programme. We also had workshops with registered counsellor Jackie McGann and learned nourishing relaxation techniques with zen practitioner Jen Galvin. We worked with Artist Annie Forrester to help design our zine. Our zine has now been distributed across Cork and is available in local and county libraries.
While continuing our topic of segregation, we decided to contact the Cork Migrant Centre (CMC), a local charity in Cork City who work with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, in order to find out more information about their work and new project, “CMC Youth Initiative Against Racism” and how we can incorporate their work into our topic.
Though it was a virtual meeting, it was no less informative to us. We were joined by psychologist, as well as coordinator of the Cork Migrant Centre, Dr. Naomi Masheti, along with Fionnuala O’Connell and Sophia Egan who work at the centre. Through a very educational meeting, Dr. Masheti, Fionnuala and Sophia gave our members a greater insight into their work and provided us with ideas, that we can use to evolve our topic into a feasible action plan.
The Cork Migrant Centre encourages unity through the simplest of things like dance and visual arts and offers as place of refuge for people who might feel segregated in our communities; something our comhairle is hoping to tackle.
We worked with Dowtcha over the course of 8 weeks. We explored the topic of segregation through puppetry, art and drama.Dowtcha encouraged and taught us to think outside the box. In many activities, we explored our creativity and how to look at problems with different perspectives in a fun way.Being a Comhairle member, most of us are already pretty confident public speakers, but Dowtcha made us not only look at the logical side but also on a creative and imaginative level.Overall, it was a very fun project to participate, but we feel that if we had two more weeks we could have perfected our performance at the end.
here is a link to a review of our dowtcha workshops by our very own Leticia. (please let us know if the link fails to work)
In our exploration of the fable ‘the stone soup’ and using puppetry to depict segregation and discrimination, we discovered how easy it was for our members to become immersed within their characters. Each feud within the puppet families became divides within our own members, It showed just how quickly we can become discriminatory as a society. Our topic of segregation aims to highlight segregated communities within our city and how we can inform and better ourselves.
Jack Kavanagh, Pharmacist & Motivational Speaker The zoom meeting with Jack Kavanagh was very inspiring and insightful. Jack’s life journey has not been an easy one, after his accident he had to deal with many difficulties and changes in his life. This meeting gave me the opportunity to learn his life story as well as learning how we can deal with our own challenges. We all go through tough moments in our lives, but it’s always good to remember that you will get better and transform your experiences into something great. He also mentioned he has a podcast in which he talks about many of the things he mentioned in the meeting, it is called “Only Human Podcast” make sure to check it out! –Leticia.
Professor John Sweeney, Climatologist & Meteorologist
Hello! My name is Arbaz and I was interested in joining Professor John Sweeneys Zoom meeting on Climate Change, as I am quite interested in the environment and how global warming works, and since John is a knowledgeable Climatologist and Meteorologist, I thought it would be great to listen to him. It was a very interesting meeting. There was a representative from every Comhairle in Ireland, and I was proudly representing Comhairle Cork City.
The talk began with John going through a PowerPoint full of facts, figures and information on climate change, and also how the Coronavirus affects it. I learned many new facts such as how Ireland is now 0.5 °C warmer on average than 30 years ago, and how last year, Ireland emitted the equivalent of 61 million tonnes of Co2. There was lots more facts like these. Towards the end of the call, John gave everyone an opportunity to ask questions. I felt I was very engaged throughout the talk, and am very thankful for being given this opportunity to listen to John. –Arbaz.
On Wednesday the 13th of May, I took part of a talk on behalf of the Comhairle of Cork. It was presented by the members of the Jigsaw project, who are the National Centre of Youth Mental Health. The representatives of Jigsaw talked about the different ways they support the mental health and wellbeing of young people in Ireland and those who may be going through tough times. They provide the necessary support systems for young persons, in an effort to stop them from feeling alone, isolated and disconnected with the people around them. I personally was unaware of Jigsaw and the amazing work they do there. I learned how professionally trained people approach and deal with young people’s mental health. I realised just how important it is to take such a topic seriously, learned a few ways to spot someone who is going through something difficult and also how to try and help them. Personally, I wish to work in the psychiatry field in the future, so this talk gave me a much wanted insight on this job overall. I am indeed grateful for being offered the opportunity to attend the talk and think it was absolutely brilliant. –Paula.