Project Smilier was created under the Young Social Innovators programme. ''Believe in it. Act on it'' They encouraged young people to raise awareness of social issue's. We aimed to promote positive mental health and remove the stigma towards depression and other mental health illnesses.
We achieved a lot since October. We met an author, Clair Swinburne, made a presentation on mental health at the launch of a local charity, had our YANA (You Are Never Alone) campaign, our Suicide Or Survive packs, we made various media appearances and so on.
We were recently at the Speak Out and compiled our report on everything we achieved and planned for the future. We were in the Step-Up category, as we were a continuation of Project Smile. Project Smilier, get it? ;)
Alas, we received feedback from YSI and discovered we didn't make it to the final, the Showcase. We are allowed to design a poster which will be in the exhibition and we're allowed to be at the Showcase, but, in the words of Danisnotonfire, IT'S NOT THE SAME.
It's not the same as performing for three minutes in front of the judges on stage. The nerves, tension, heart racing, adrenaline rush that you feel in the days before hand. Rehearsing for weeks on end and still doing more to promote positive mental health.
Our group, our brain-child, is gone. I feel as though someone I loved and known all my life has passed away. I feel numb. I'm hurt. When I heard we didn't get through, I cried for the entire afternoon. I couldn't/can't understand it. We worked so hard and achieved a lot for a Step-Up project. We even went to Gambia and Italy on school trips to promote positive mental health?! I'm so surprised and shocked.
However, life is just like that I guess. You work hard and don't get what you wish for. Maybe that's the lesson I was meant to learn from Project Smilier, firstly, your mental health is so important, it's more precious than your physical health and should be well cared for. Second, you can work hard and not get the results, but that's life and there's nothing you can do. Just make the best out of the opportunity.
To make myself reminisce and feel a little better, I'll post some photo's of our time as Project Smilier. We're still doing a few things in the coming weeks, (like being on the national airwaves on April 22nd!) and Cycle against Suicide.
With Colm Hayes :)
With Jim Breen, organiser of Cycle against Suicide
With other Student Leaders of CASuicide
Colm jumping for joy
After our Speak Out performance
A photo received as part of our 'You Are Never Alone' campaign
You ''moustache''and write YANA on your wrist!
One of our posters
A quote we used in our Speak Out.
Another photo sent in for our YANA campaign.
Obviously I couldn't upload too many photos of the group, sorry!
Stay strong and fearless everyone,
Don't worry, I felt a lot better after listening to The Script, Paramore, The Coronas and had some Ben and Jerry's! ;)
You Are Never Alone,