IGG mental health programme receives boost from ESB

Our youth mental health programme has received a welcome boost from the ESB Energy for Generations Fund.

The €10,000 grant is going directly towards promoting positive mental health for our youth members, including covering the cost of 3,000 Healthy Mind badges for girls and young women aged five to 30.

The grant is also covering the cost of a special mental health edition of the IGG magazine Trefoil News and the upskilling of our volunteer Leaders in delivering our Healthy Mind programme.

To earn a Healthy Mind badge, girls take part in age-appropriate activities that help them develop positive mental health. Ladybirds (aged five to seven) and Brownies (aged seven to 10) are encouraged to identify positive qualities in themselves, discuss feelings and express them appropriately. They learn various relaxation techniques, including mindfulness and yoga.

Guides (aged 10-14) and Senior Branch members (aged 14-30) learn strategies for dealing with different emotions and how to identify signs of stress in themselves and ways to deal with these stresses. They also learn positive communication skills, including how to give affirmations to others and how to accept them in return.

IGG Chief Commissioner Amanda O’Sullivan said, “We were delighted to be awarded €10,000 through the ESB Energy For Generations Fund. This money will be put to good use in promoting the mental health of our youth members.

“Covid-19 has impacted children and young people at least as much, if not more, than older generations. They need our support now more than ever and our Healthy Mind programme gives them the tools they need to cope in times of adversity and to enable them to reach their full potential, no matter the circumstances.”

Emma D, a Guide in Carrigaline, Cork, said, “The Healthy Mind programme helps us discover amazing things about ourselves and to know that unusual feeling are completely normal and how to deal with those feelings in a healthy way, like talking to someone.”

Emma L, a Ladybird in Carrigaline, said, “To earn the Healthy Mind badge, we learned that no matter what feelings you have, you can talk to somebody about it. And you can do breathing techniques, yoga and exercise to help too.”

Fergal Fitzgerald, Electric Aid Group CSR Co-ordinator, said, “Through our Energy for Generations Fund, our aim is to support organisations such as Irish Girl Guides and the important work they do in promoting positive mental health. We commend them on the roll out of the Healthy Mind programme, and we are proud to support this initiative.”

Watch this video in which some of our youth members talk about what they learned doing the Healthy Mind badge.