Three students from St. Anne’s Secondary School, won the Mental Health County Final National Speaking Competition for second level schools.
Leah Mulcahy, Gemma Nugent and Michelle Guilfoyle managed to claim the win with their chosen topic, ‘The Youth are the Trustees of the Future’. Ms. Aisling Redfern, competition coordinator was very pleased with the student’s win. “The students in-depth understanding and knowledge of mental health at such a young age was surprising and presented very well.”
The aim of the competition was to introduce students to public speaking and to promote awareness among young people of the causes and effects of mental illness and of the importance of positive mental health. Hosted by St. Anne’s, each school presented three team members who each in turn wowed the crowd with their public speaking skills.
St. Anne’s students were in competition with St. Ailbe’s School Tipperary, C.B.S. and High School Clonmel.
Leah Mulchay, from the winning team, explained what she learnt from the public speaking experience. “When you are watching everyone else getting up to speak it was really nerve-wracking but once we got up and got into our speeches it became much easier.”
Her colleague, Gemma Nugent, spoke about their chosen topic at the National Finals, ‘The Youth are the Trustees of the Future’. “The best way to maintain your mental health is by building your resilience, for example, developing individual strengths to help you during times of stress.”
The C.B.S. Clonmel portrayed excellent speaking skills and insightful and informative ideas on their chosen topic, while St. Ailbe’s Tipperary presented confident and excellently constructed theories on Mental Health and young people. All the students showed a keen and in-depth understanding of their topic.
The judges were: Mr. Joe Cunningham (Clonmel Mental Health Association), Mr. Eddie Kelly (Wexford Mental Health Association) and Ms. Libby Carew, (P.R.O. WTMHA) and also in attendance was Ms. Linda Thorpe, Chairperson (South East Regional Development Officer for Mental Health Ireland).