'Beat Depression With A Happy Expression'


We,at Loreto Balbriggan have decided to do our project on 'Beat Depression With A Happy Expression'. We decided not to focus on the negative effects of depression but how we can make people happier. The project investigates the causes of depression among teenagers and raising awareness of the importance of positive mental health in our school. That's what this website is about - being happy!

Our Y.S.I team: Róisín Hickey, Kayleigh Halpin, Aisling McCormick, Jessica Ryan, Niamh O' Connor, Róisín Leahy, Amber Boshell, Katie St. Lawrence., Fiona Tallon, Aine O'Connell, Jillian Smith and Roryann Sweeney.

Importance of Mental Health

Mental health is your attitude and approach to life. Having good mental health means having a positive self image, an optimistic outlook on life and the ability to cope with life’s challenges.

Poor mental health can lead to depression, self-harm, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse and social isolation.

Building resilience is very important for good mental health. It involves developing individual strengths and abilities to bounce back from the challenges and setbacks life throws at you.

Becoming resilient enables you to see beyond sometimes overwhelming challenges, enjoy life more and handle situations better.

If you’re feeling low support is always available. You can visit the website for Mental Health Ireland(www.mentalhealthireland.ie) for ideas.


Our Aims to Make A Difference

Our Y.S.I team decided to tackle depression by raising awareness and making our school a happier place!

These are our efforts:

  • We set up a Y.S.I. Noticeboard to raise awareness of the importance of mental health and consequences of bad mental health – we hope that this will help people take more care of how they're feeling and talk to someone if they're feeling down.
  • We put up inspirational signs around the school to give students a little boost to get through the day.
  • We had a Mental Health from 15 - 19 March. During the week, we had daily announcements on the intercom to raise even MORE awareness (just in case some people are not getting the message!). We had speakers from organisations associated with good mental health - BodyWhys and Aware.


What's in it for YOU?

We have different activities organised for different year groups, most of them will be carried out in out in our Mental Health Week.

1st Years

A speaker in from BodyWhys, the eating disorder association of Ireland, will be coming into meet with these new recruits . We want our 1st years to have awareness and support the symptoms and causes of eating disorders!

2nd Years

2nd Years will show their appreciation to their loved ones by sending Thank You cards – we found that thanking someone actually makes YOU feel good too!

3rd Years

These hard workers were given Self-Esteem Workshops in December – we built their confidence using Affirmation Cards, these are cards where people in your class write lovely things about you.

4th Years

We received smile cards from Help Others; we will give these cards to the students to use. The cards are a new 'game of tag', i.e. 'you're it' when you are given a card by someone who did an act of kindness for you. Then it's your turn to do something nice and pass it on!

5th Years

Our team made a web page, 'Our Guide to Authentic Happiness' which is aimed at 5th years, but everyone can learn from it! The page outlines the various forms of depression and offers practical guidance on building personal resilience for students.

6th Years

We created 6th Year Oral Positivity and Survival Packs to help the 6th years get through this potentially stress-fillled time by providing essentials such as Haribo (yum!) and pens to help them with those notes! We will also include inspirational quote and camomile tea – to help them relax.

Have a look at the YSI archives

YSI Homepage

YSI 2010

YSI 2009

YSI 2008

Our Guide to Authentic Happiness

ysi logo


bodywhy logo

headstrong logo

helpothers logo


smile cards