HEALTHY Kidz, an organisation delivering a multi strand activity and education programme to 106 primary schools across Northern Ireland, launched a new and exciting strand of their award winning programme on Thursday last at Stewartstown Primary. School.
Stewartstown Primary School are twinned with Holy Family, Aughamullan Primary School for a shared education project and both schools attended the launch.
Brendan McConaghy, founder and creator of the Emotional Wellbeing strand told the Courier: “Having seen the success of the physical activity strands already taking place in our schools, many principals approached Healthy Kidz and asked could we address the alarming rise in mental health issues among children.
“Research in 2018 shows that one in nine children between the ages of 5 to 15 have a mental health disorder.
“Working with Consultant Psychologist Dr Dympna Browne, we wrote this programme to help develop children’s emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence can be described as our ability to understand our own emotions and those of others as well as understanding how these emotions affect how we think and behave.”
The Emotional Wellbeing strand includes lessons on self-esteem, impulse control and responsibility and uses tools such as mindfulness and gratitude journaling to give children the time, space and skills to care for and develop their own emotional wellbeing.
Director of Healthy Kidz, Kevin Creery stated: “This is a fantastic addition to our already growing programme and will be of huge benefit to the thousands of Primary Seven pupils taking part. Brendan is passionate about developing skills that allow children to develop better coping strategies and build resilience as they enter the next phase of their education. This 10 week strand will tie in perfectly with schools PDMU curriculum and we are thankful to Brendan and his team for their work in producing such a comprehensive and informative resource.
“Part of the Healthy Kidz Programme also focuses on Nutrition, Eyes and Teeth (NET) and we are absolutely delighted to be supported by local opticians Alexander Bain & Murray in Dungannon, Portadown, Lurgan and Armagh and dentists Magees Dental Care in Lurgan for this important strand to education our children in how they need to look after the bodies.”
Healthy Kidz’ main aim is to develop the holistic child through physical and emotional education.