The National Youth Council of Ireland want to hear from young people, aged 15-30 years, who want to be more involved in shaping society! On July 23rd, Young Voices will be heard at the Youth Empowerment for Political Participation – ‘Ideas to Action’ part 2 workshop.
The day will also be an opportunity for youth leaders/youth workers to share their views on the day. This is part of the current European Structured Dialogue process that is taking place across Europe, giving young people and youth organisations an opportunity to influence decisions affecting their lives.
The event will run from 12.00 - 4.00pm (all travel costs will be reimbursed) on July 23rd in Dublin City Centre.
The event will give young people an opportunity to prioritise some actions that have been proposed from the recommendations of the EU Youth Conference as to how we can empower young people and improve political participation.
Places are limited so please confirm that you will attend by replying to AuricaC@nyci.ie with the following info: Name; Age; Email address. Deadline: Friday July 10th
The feedback from this consultation will form the basis for the Irish input to the EU Youth Conference in September in Luxembourg. 3 Young people from this event will have an opportunity to be one of the young people to represent Ireland at the EU Youth Conference in Luxembourg.
Last week, the National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) launched their new suicide prevention strategy, Connecting for Life. This strategy, which will be in effect from 2015-2020, follows on from NOSP’s previous Reach Out strategy.
NOSP consulted with a wide range of stakeholders, including SpunOut.ie, in order to devise the strategy and received 272 submissions from individuals and organisations.
The intended outcomes of Connecting for Life are:
Some specific goals the strategy outlines as key contributors to these outcomes include:
The specified priority groups include people with mental health problems, people with alcohol and drug problems, people bereaved by suicide, LGBT peoples, members of the Traveller communities, people who are homeless, healthcare professionals and prisoners.
At the launch, Minister Kathleen Lynch said “One size doesn’t fit all in mental health and the range of services reflects this. As part of the suicide strategy, we need to connect with ourselves, our families, our communities and the services that are on offer”.
The strategy also notes the correlation between challenging economic factors and suicidal behaviour.
The latest in great hashtags on Twitter has to be the #LiveTweetYourPeriod!
I don’t know about you but I definitely don’t talk about my period a lot, mainly just knowing nods to friends about ‘having cramps’ and that’s the extent of it. But I’m loving this new movement and discussion around periods! Despite the fact that it’s a normal and regular bodily function, there seems to be a stigma around talking about periods but with more and more discussion comes less shame and makes it easier for us women to give out when people try to do things like increase tax on tampons or take down images on Instagram. This is real life people! The Live Tweet Your Period hashtag gained a lot of traction after being featured in the New York Times magazine.
We're not great at talking about vaginas in general, who else was nodding along to the bio lessons of Season 2 of Orange is the New Black?
So in honour of the awesome women sharing their situations, we've put together a quick round up of some of the best we've seen so far!
Stands up. "Oh no." Runs to bathroom. "Did it leak through to my jeans?!" Phew. Day 1 is an emotional roller coaster. #LiveTweetYourPeriod— Liz (@Aine3333) June 23, 2015
Take a bow ladies!
With Summer already underway the city centre is crawling with tourists and the youth of today trying to get through summer by getting the golden ticket, that being a summer job. With the recent news of Clerys pulling down its shutters, and with every other retailer only expecting CVS online where you have to complete The Huger Games of questionnaires, getting a job is harder than you think.
So if you are short for change this summer, here are a few things that will keep you occupied while adding to your CV and a few things you and your friends could get up too for little or nothing. Getting turned away from so many jobs can be seriously demoralising, however there are people out there that would appreciate your skills, but most of all your help.
It can be a very scary thing going in to a psychiatric hospital when you don't know what to expect.
It is likely your mind will think up the worst possible scenarios and bring up memories of all the horror stories you have ever heard and movies you have ever seen, the majority of which have it all wrong and completely warped. Not to mention the added pressure of stigma. While all hospitals vary and have their own way of doing things, having been in two, one private, the other public, I can say that they work very much the same.
On first arrival to the private hospital, I was met by the admissions office where I had to fill out a few forms (just a formality; stating my address, contact details of next of kin, signing insurance forms etc.) and from there, after a little wait, although considering how emotional and scared I was it felt like hours, I was met by a registrar nurse - a registrar is a psychiatrist in training who works alongside your assigned doctor.
There was quite a long interview with this registrar detailing all my past medical history and giving me the opportunity to ask any questions regarding my stay and planned course of treatment. This interview process is not one you have to do alone. I was so glad to have my mom there as the tears made it quite difficult to talk and the anxiety hindered my ability to think straight. Having someone who knew me almost as well as I knew myself meant she could answer when I couldn't.
Plus, it was nice to have a hand to hold. After a brief physical exam (nothing invasive) the registrar escorted my parents and I to the ward. Psychiatric hospitals tend to be busy and highindemand meaning beds are not always available on the particular ward you have been assigned to for the duration of your stay and so sometimes you will have no choice but to bunk in another ward until one comes free. In my case, the ward I was supposed to be on had no bed available. I spent my first night in another before being transferred the next morning.
All patients are given a bed in a bay area for the first few nights. This is basically a room with a number of beds located right across from the nurses’ station. It gives the ward nurses a chance to get to know you and see that you settle in alright. After a few nights there, you get assigned your own room or perhaps a twin room.
Also, all wards are segregated meaning males and females do not get assigned the same room. There is generally a common area with chairs and a telly where you can hang out and chat with other patients (unless your ward is female only, this area will not be segregated).
The nurses on duty will carry out a ward round every hour where they will check on every patient. In my experience, until you have met with your doctor you would be requested to stay on the ward. However, if you are not confined to the ward and have freedom to move around the hospital, there will probably be a book at the nurses’ station where you will be required to check in and out as you go. There can be a wide range of activities throughout the day like art, mindfulness and yoga. Some hospitals even have a music room where you can play the piano or bang on the drums.
If you are on medications, you will need to hand them up on arrival and the nurses will store them in the meds room. Generally meds are dispensed from this same room at meal times and then again right before people start heading for bed. Unlike the public hospital I stayed in where all patients ate meals in the one hall, in the private hospital each ward had its own canteen and meal times. A set menu would be pinned up in the morning and if nothing grabbed your fancy, you could go to the main hospital canteen and buy something from the buffet.
If you are a picky eater, like me, and only eat chicken for example, be sure to inform the nurses. They can have a member of the catering team talk to you about your options. Depending on your history, your doctor may also assign you a nutritionist. At meal times, the nurses tend to sit in a corner and take attendance. Don't fret like I did and think that they are only watching you and you alone. They're really not.
Then of course the treatment side of things comes into the picture. Every patient is assigned a doctor and once a week you get to meet this doctor on his/her rounds. It can be a long day, as many other patients will also be waiting to see him/her. You will always have the option to bring a family member to this meeting. If you have a problem any of the other days you can go to the ward nurses, your key nurse if you have been assigned one or ask to see one of the registrars.
There are many different treatment programmes available to patients at psychiatric hospitals, none of which I am educated enough on to recommend or advise. But on meeting with your doctor you will both agree on what the best course of action is. If you are a voluntary patient, as most are, meaning you admitted yourself to the hospital, you can essentially choose to discharge yourself whenever you want providing your doctor does not see it as a danger for yourself or others.
Everyone’s experience in a psychiatric hospital is different and although it can be difficult, do try and remember that no two patients are the same. Just because another person has been in hospital 12 weeks, does not mean you will and while one person may have a dislike to one particular nurse/doctor, don't be swayed. Decide for yourself based on your own experience. I am certainly not going to lie, going to a psychiatric hospital is very daunting but hopefully having read this, you might feel a little more at ease.
In April I started outdoor boot camp in Phoenix Park in Dublin with my friend Joanne. She had found an offer for classes online and we said we’d give it a go. I used to be fit in my teens and I had been thinking about my fitness and well being a lot over the last year or so. What I didn’t realise was just how much this commitment would help me.
The classes were scheduled to take place every Monday and Wednesday at 7 pm for 4 weeks, sunshine or rain they would be going ahead. So we started. I’m not going to lie, after the first class I thought I was going to be sick (and this was after a night out). My body had been pushed; my arms were heavy from trying to hold my weight off the ground and my legs burned from running.
I love walking and I have tried over the last few years to go for walks after college or work but this was very different and the next day in work was difficult. I was so stiff. My body ached and it reminded me of when I used to Irish dance as a child. My legs and mind were physically tired, and this was just after one hour of exercise. Even though I was so sore and drained, I kept thinking that at 23 years old, I should be able to do this.
I had doubts about whether I could keep going to the classes, but I did and after three weeks I began to notice little improvements. I had started to control my breathing when running, I had learned a wide range of exercises, I was using muscles and building strength that I hadn’t known about and I was being pushed to do all of this but at my own pace too. I didn’t care if I was beetroot red after the hour. I was feeling good and it was fun too. The classes are open to anyone and the instructor is tough but fair. He pushes everyone to do what they can, at their own pace and he always encourages us never to stop, to keep going.
I am now into my third month of classes and since starting boot camp I have started running too. Even if it is before work or in the evening, I try my best to get out into the air as much as I can. My work means I am in front of a computer for a lot of my day so getting outside is proving to be good for me. My clothes fit me better now and I’ve even received a compliment or two from friends who have noticed a change.
I know I have listed a few positives above but the most surprising and best change I have noticed has been the improvement to my mental health. Life throws curve balls and challenges to everyone, some can be anticipated and others are complete surprises but since my body and mind have been active in a different way I have noticed that I can switch off from work easier, I am sleeping better, I am getting through my days and I am dealing with the challenges of life with a slightly different approach.
I signed up and completed the Darkness in to Light run with my friend, Dympna. Something I would never have thought of doing a year ago, and it was amazing. I completed the Women’s Mini Marathon with my cousins and some of my aunties too. This again is something I would never have thought of doing and it was such a fun and a challenging day. A better way of spending a Bank Holiday Monday, raising money for charity, being outside with family, instead of dying from a horrible hangover in bed!
I don’t have a main goal in my fitness journey. I don’t have a target weight or speed that I want to be able to run. I have an improved mind frame now and I am getting to an outlook on life that I have always wanted to have. I just have to maintain this. Signing up to boot camp has been the best decision and money that I have spent this year and I would encourage people to get up and get active if they are thinking about it.
If it is the gym, dance lessons or swimming, if you are thinking about it, do it! You could start a class or get a few friends together once a week for a game of football even. I was surprised at the large amount of people who turned up to my first boot camp class. I didn’t really think that there would be many people who wanted to get fit or who had been thinking of getting fit like me! How wrong was I!
I know that I have big decisions to make for my life in the coming years and sometimes I don’t want to think about those choices, but I know that if my mind is strong, happy and healthy I’ll be able to make them. Boot camp has helped my mental health and I really hope I can keep it up and keep these good vibes going! Life is for living after all and if I can have somewhat of a healthy mind then things will work out just fine. I know it.
Want to experience the continent by lending a helping hand and experiencing different cultures? The European Voluntary Service (EVS) presents travel curious 18-30 year olds Europeans the opportunity to lend their skills and learn.
The European Voluntary Service project is a partnership between two or more promoting organisations. These organisations are responsible for recruiting volunteers for their project. Volunteers participate in EVS through a Sending Organisation in the country where they live and a Receiving Organisation that receives and hosts them during their period of service.
Projects last from 2 weeks to 12 months, and as a volunteer you can work in a wide range of fields, such as culture, youth, sports, children, cultural heritage, arts, animal welfare, environment and development cooperation. is a database that contains lists of volunteer opportunites that are available within and outside the European Union.
Partaking in an EVS project in another country is not a decision you should make lightly. EVS is not a job or a work placement. It is the opportunity for a young person to express their personal commitment through voluntary work in a foreign country.
The aim of EVS is help its young volunteers develop:
Before you sign up for the EVS, there are a few questions you should ask yourself:
You can view the types of positions available on the EVS database. These projects are categorised by topics and location. You can whittle down the content to include the subject areas where you have the most expertise or interest in.
To shame someone is to publicly ridicule a real or perceived aspect of their behaviour, personality, or appearance, that you consider to be wrong or abnormal. Viral shaming is when this ridicule takes place on the internet and social media, where many people may participate in it. It is often used as a tool to punish people for behaviour that is thought to be socially weird or inappropriate.
Well for example, a young person at a party or a concert may have behaved in a way that is considered shameful, embarrassing or inappropriate. A friend or onlooker may have captured pictures or videos of this and uploaded them to Facebook or Twitter to make fun of this person. These images or videos then may become widely shared, often accompanied by cruel and unkind comments that are intended to mock or insult the person in the photos or videos. This is viral shaming.
Does this sound familiar? It’s an increasingly common phenomenon, and one that can have pretty devastating consequences. Recently, viral shaming is increasingly used specifically to condemn sexual behaviour that is considered indecent or deviant.
This kind of harassment is really not ok. When we don’t know the person in the photo, sometimes it can be easy to say cruel things about them. Because we have no experience of this person in real life, they may seem less real or human. However, it’s really important to recognise that these are real people, and your actions can have very real impacts on their happiness and safety, even if those actions are simply leaving a comment on Facebook.
Even if you don’t know the person, viral shaming is a type of online bullying and harassment. If the image or video contains sexual content, then it is a form of sexual harassment. Here’s what you should do if you come into contact with it:
This year there has never been more outdoor concerts and festivals happening around the country. Whether you’re camping or a day-goer, there are some very important things you need to consider.
Got anything to add? Leave suggestions in the comments below.
Looking for a job can be confusing, frustrating and time-consuming. You have to be prepared to get turned down for a few jobs, or to never hear anything back from some of the application forms you send away. There are so many different websites, newspapers, employment agencies, notice boards and job centres dedicated to job searching that it can be tough to know where to start.
Volunteering is the way to go for those of you who want to learn new skills, explore career options or to give something back to the world around you. You might think: "Why bother?" or "What’s in it for me?" Maybe you reckon there’s nowhere in your area looking for volunteers. Think again! In this section we talk about the reasons to volunteer and how to find more information on becoming a volunteer (in your area and worldwide).
Check out our Ditch The Monkey video below on volunteering and contributing to the world around you
Volunteering is not just good for the soul; it’s also good for your CV and for college applications. It can really help to add a bit of shine to the ol’ curriculum vitae and get you noticed by employers and colleges. So if you are on the fence about volunteering anyhow, just consider what it could do for you.