Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

St. Paul’s record breaking ‘Plankathon’ promotes positive approach to mental health

St Paul’s High School in Bessbrook was full of energy, excitement and colour last Monday as almost 2000 pupils, staff and parents took part in a unique event to raise awareness of Cycle Against Suicide’s key message “it’s ok to not feel ok and it is absolutely ok to ask for help.”

The “plankathon” event saw the school and its supporters break the world record for the most people planking in one location.  The event, held during World Suicide Prevention Week,  was part of Events Against Suicide – an initiative by the Cycle Against Suicide Community, the only mental health organisation working across all parts of the island of Ireland.

The aim of Events Against Suicide is to have unique, fun and interesting ways to spread awareness of their powerful message.  The St. Paul’s plankathon was organised by past pupil Joanne Callan, a local Well Being Coach and Holistic Therapist  who, after taking part in the main Cycle Against Suicide during the year, became interested in the work of the initiative because of their focus on working with schools and young people to promote a positive approach to mental and emotional health.  Joanne hopes the hugely fun and positive St. Paul’s Plankathon has hit home the importance of asking for help and went some way to making sure that across the island of Ireland young people get the message that “it’s ok not to feel ok and it’s absolutely ok to ask for help.”