Rockwell College’s Claire Bennett says it was a “brilliant experience” been involved in the annual Cycle Against Suicide Student Leader Ambassadors’ Retreat which took place in Kippure Estate, Co. Wicklow, on Thursday and Friday, August 18th and 19th last.
The retreat, now in its third year, recognises students for their exceptional contribution to the area of mental health.
The aim of the Student Leader Ambassador Programme is to harness the immense leadership potential of these young adults, and empower them to bring the Cycle Against Suicide message, “It’s OK not to feel OK; and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help”, back to their schools and communities.
Among the inspiring guests presenting at this year's retreat were Jim Breen, founder of Cycle Against Suicide, and Niall Muldoon, Ombudsman for Children.
The student leaders actively participate in all Cycle Against Suicide activities throughout the year.
Nominated by their schools and selected from hundreds of applicants, Claire and her fellow student leader ambassadors from all over Ireland participated in the wide range of workshops, including media skills, outdoor pursuits, team building, presentation skills and leadership training.
“It has opened my eyes very much to the issues facing people at various stages of life,” Claire says.
As well as participating in workshops and presentations, students also collaborated to develop a theme for this year's Student Leaders' Congress, which will take place in the University of Limerick on 19th January next year.
“I am looking forward to working with Cycle Against Suicide in the coming year,” she continues.
Link teacher Pat Egan notes that it is a “huge honour” for Rockwell College to have a student selected for such a prestigious and worthwhile programme at national level.
“We are immensely proud of Claire’s achievement,” he adds.