Mental Health Matters! The Secondary Students’ Union of Northern Ireland (SSUNI) presents a powerful talk regarding the responses to its Mental Health Matters survey, first published on the 25th of November 2020.
The survey received over 2,000 responses which highlights that students are eager to create change. Due to the on-going Covid 19 Pandemic more and more people are requiring mental health support. The Mental Health Matters survey reveals how support available for mental health varies entirely depending on which school you attend as well as some real experiences of students and shocking statistics regarding young people’s mental health.
Cormac Savage, SSUNI President and founder, is 17 and in his final year studying French, Spanish, Politics and English at St Patrick’s Grammar School, Downpatrick. He is a trustee of the British Youth Council and was a Member of UK Youth Parliament for South Down for the past two years and won two Paul Boskett Awards for giving the best speech at the annual UK House of Commons sitting. He travelled to Strasbourg to represent Ireland in the European Parliament with the Rotary Club and has won a YAFTA in the inspirational young person category and a Michaela Foundation Wings Award.
Alana Cahoon, SSUNI Communications Officer, is 17 years old and is currently studying A’ Levels in Politics, Economics and History at Portadown College. She is involved in lots of projects such as being a TBUC ambassador and many other cross community projects. Alana also appeared on the BBC NI Top Table programme in January.
Morgan Shuttleworth, SSUNI’S first Mental Health Officer, is 16 and in Year 13 at Methodist College, Belfast, where he studies Drama, Politics and English Literature at A’ Level. Morgan ran a working group called Mental Health Matters which partnered with Northern Ireland’s independent Think Tank Pivotal PPF to write a rigorous report which was published at an online event attended by different mental health organisations and MLAs.
Lucy Brennan, SSUNI mental health chair, is 16 years old and in year 13 at Victoria College Belfast. Currently studying History Business and RE, she was part of the SSUNI working group for mental health in schools. She is keen to help provide the best school experience and support for Northern Irish pupils possible.