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Carrickfergus College embrace Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing with support from South Antrim Community Network

Carrickfergus College are very aware of their pupils’ emotional health and how that can impact on their capacity for learning. The College have a very experienced and caring pastoral team made up of Form Teachers, Heads of Year, and Vice Principals who are linked with pupils throughout their time at the College, they believe Pastoral Care and emotional health and wellbeing is everyone’s responsibility. Health Coordinator, Mrs McIlwrath made contact with South Antrim Community Network to seek guidance on how best to promote the Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing message within the school.

On Wednesday 25th April 2018 Carrickfergus College, in partnership with South Antrim Community Network hosted a Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing Event for the entire school. This event was coordinated by SACN’s Suicide Prevention Development Officer and NICHI Officer, alongside the sixth form pupils. The event focussed on creative mediums to engage the pupils such as a healthy cooking demonstration by Urban Community Chef, a silent disco for meditation, a friendly hula hoop and plank challenge, and various other engagement activities. There were a number of local support services in attendance to help inform pupils of available resources within Carrickfergus, such as Carrick YMCA, The Relationship Resource Centre, Lifeline, Start 360 and PSNI to name but a few. The aim of the event was to raise awareness of the Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing health promotion message, promote local support services and encourage the pupils to take part in creative mediums to boost their emotional health and wellbeing. All pupils within the school had the opportunity to attend the event and connect with service providers.

South Antrim Community Network is commissioned by Public Health Agency to increase community involvement in suicide prevention and promote general health and wellbeing. This all school event is an honourable example of the importance of a community development approach. Janine Gaston, Suicide Prevention Development Officer shares her thoughts on the initiative, “The enthusiasm of Carrickfergus College to raise awareness of emotional health and wellbeing has been refreshing. The school’s approach to identifying EHWB needs is to be commended. SACN were only too pleased to work alongside the Health Coordinator and sixth form pupils to plan, coordinate and facilitate an excellent Take 5 awareness event. We look forward to future projects within the school”.

Kerry Creighton and Rebekah Hermin

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Celebration event highlights:

  • 12 health & wellbeing focussed exhibitions from Northern Area service providers
  • 700 healthy pizzas were made and enjoyed
  • over 175+ participated in our silent disco for meditation/self care
  • 200+ challenged themselves to the hula hoop/plank competition
  • over 500 pieces of fruit were enjoyed by pupils
  • 150+ Take 5 Information Packs were distributed
  • 650 Youth quizzes were completed
  • 5 prize winners were selected at random for completing an interactive health & wellbeing quiz

We commend the sixth form pupils for their enthusiasm and the energy they brought to the event, they were key to the success. We would also like to thank the events sponsors and the organisations who attended for helping to make this event interactive and relevant to promoting the Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing.

Health Coordinator, Andrea McIlwrath detailed “The 5 Steps to Wellbeing Event was a huge success and pupils from Year 8 to Year 14 thoroughly enjoyed it!
This event would not have been possible without the support, funding and expertise of Janine and Pamela from SACN, thank you for your willingness to support our school in this way, it has greatly benefited our pupils.
I also want to thank all the exhibitors for giving up their time, Eurospar and Tesco for providing free fruit for all pupils and our dedicated Year 13 and 14 pupils who helped run the event”.

  • For more information please contact Janine Gaston or Pamela McClelland at SACN on 028 9447 8645
  • For information on health improvement information and services visit healthallianceni or mindingyourhead
  • For crisis intervention support contact Lifeline Helpline 24/7 freephone 0808 808 8000


  • LIFELINE – Tel: 0808 808 8000 (the 24 hr helpline is available to help family members, carers and friends who are worried about someone and can help with the process of getting appropriate support for them)

  • Samaritans: Tel: 08457 909090

  • ZEST Tel: 028 7126 6999 (family outreach support for self harm)

  • NHSCT Bereaved by Suicide Support Project offers individual and group support to families bereaved by suicide. Contact Support Worker, on 028 2563 6607

  • Barnardo’s children & young people bereaved by suicide support, 07796 148549

  • CRUSE Bereavement Care Helpline – Tel: 0844 477 9400
    Protect Life: A Shared Vision was launched in 2006: Suicide Prevention Strategy Action Plan.pdf
    Promoting Mental Health Strategy: Promoting Mental Health.pdf

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