What is the Resilience Academy?
Resilience Academy is a six-week school-based programme developed by Pieta House, that builds skills in resilience with second year students at secondary school. Facilitators work with the same cohort for the duration of the programme to build up a rapport with students and increase the likelihood of students confiding in them or simply asking questions. All sessions are delivered by Pieta House therapists (as facilitators) who are fully accredited by the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. During this programme teenagers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and tools they need to respond to life challenges in a healthy and constructive manner.
Tell us a little about yourself and what motivates you to see your project succeed?
David Swaine is the Training and Education Coordinator in Pieta House. David joined us in July last year after several years teaching in Further Education colleges in Dublin. As Training and Education Coordinator, David is responsible for the design, development and implementation ofour Resilience Academy Schools Programme, our six-week programme which helps increase and protect student resilience. Having worked as a teacher, David is fully aware of the pressures that face young people, and works closely with our therapists, research department and schools to ensure that the content of the Resilience Academy is exactly what students want. David has a First Class Honours Degree in English and History from St. Patrick’s College, a Higher Diploma in Education from NUI Maynooth and an M Phil in Irish Writing from Trinity College Dublin.
What do you plan to do with the Engage and Educate Awards?
We in Pieta House firmly believe that the Engage and Educate Award will allow us to fully utilise the potential of our Resilience Academy Schools Programme, and help take it to the next level.The Award will play a significant role in helping us to increase our resources and take on additional facilitators. By having the ability to increase our number of facilitators, we will be able to bring the Resilience Academy to parts of the country that, traditionally speaking, would have communities with schools that feel marginalised and unsupported.
We don’t believe that safeguarding one’s mental health is exclusive to those living in urban areas, and feel that the need to reach those in rural areas is equally imperative. Moreover, the Award will also allow us to develop packs that we can give to each student, and these would include handouts related to the modules. Consequently, it would help create a more engaging and involved learning environment for the learners. Finally, we would also like to develop Certificates that acknowledge the learners and their contributions.Ultimately, the Engage and Educate Award will allow us to reach more teachers, more schools, and most important of all, more students across Ireland.