Pieta Amber Flag  – Woodbrook College by Benson Lin

The Amber Flag is an organisation to promote positive mental health, by reaching out to Primary and Secondary schools, youth reach, third level institution, community groups and companies to create healthy, inclusive environments that support mental well-being.  The Pieta Amber Flag enables school and youths across the country to promote positive mental health, and till this day over 700 flags have been awarded. 

There is an Amber Flag team in Woodbrook College; it was set up in order to educate others about positive wellbeing. In the past, they organised different events such as Fun Friday and Mental Health Week.  This year, Ms. Cluskey and Ms. Troy, have been doing a lot to achieve positive well-being within our school such as to setting up the SMILE club in the school. 

I contacted Ms. Cluskey in relation to her involvement with the flag. I asked her what the amber flag means to the school and to her, she responded with “The amber flag symbolises the fact that the mental health of our students here in Woodbrook College is of upmost importance. It helps us create a better environment in our school community where everyone feels happy and makes school a positive place to be. It also recognises the importance of Pieta House – this links in with our current fundraiser; A cycle for suicide challenge where students have to cycle / walk/ run 42km and donate to Pieta house. Also, Ms Troy and I set up the Smile Club; we have regular meetings for all members. So far we have organised a fundraiser tuc shop, created a notice board centred on wellbeing, created a video to acknowledge the dedicated staff here in Woodbrook College and recently designed positive quotes and stuck them on each desk for the first year Christmas exams. Small little gestures like this can really play a role in helping to lift people’s spirits and improve their mental health’’.  

 As you can see, Ms Cluskey and Ms Troy have been doing a lot in order to promote positive mental health around the school. Although we are limited to what we can do nowadays (the COVID 19 world), together with the school, we continue to work together to achieve better mental health. As Ms. Cluskey says ‘’it means that students know they are cared for and valued and that we strive to make school a positive experience and happy place to be!”