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Mind, Body and Soul Peace IV Project celebrates success

28 June 2021

Over 100 young people from across the city have completed a Peace IV sponsored mental health and well being programme,

The Mind, Body and Soul Project was delivered through Derry City and Strabane District Council's PEACE IV Programme where young participants from St Mary's College, Oakgrove Integrated College and Lisneal College rose to the challenge of engaging enthusiastically in cross-community, extra-curricular activities.

Significantly, in the wake of the impact of Covid, the project focused on giving young people aged between 11-12 years the opportunity to check up and improve their mental health by examining their own self care practises and introducing them to methods of self-care that are used by cultures and traditions from around the world.  

This was supported by fun and engaging Cultural Diversity Workshops that introduce participants to music and celebrations from around the world. 

The PEACE IV Programme is funded by the European Union and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). 

Match-funding has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland. 

Young participants attended weekly Mental Health and Wellbeing Workshops delivered by HURT designed to assist in building resilience when managing their everyday life during these challenging times. 

A respondent to Young Minds COVID-19 Impact Report explained the challenges that lock down had created for her: 

"Self-isolating and social distancing was a bad habit I worked really hard to get out of," she said.  

"Now I'm being made to do it and being told it is the right thing to do.  

"It is very confusing and I am scared of falling back to that cycle."  

Workshops introduced young people to positive coping mechanisms that provide support and knowledge when dealing with stress, anxiety and other negative thoughts and feelings.  

Mental Health Workshops included self-care techniques including mindfulness, meditation and breathing exercises. 

Each participant received a yoga kit and completed six weeks of yoga classes.  

The skill of yoga will be a valuable self-care tool that can be sustained by the young people long after the project completes.  

On completion participant Una Porter said: "The mental health workshops helped with ways to deal with stress and yoga was a fun new exercise to learn"