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Health Fair 2017

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Health Fair 2017

Inspiring speakers, twenty-two enthusiastic exhibitors and delicious food from Chef Jeffers made the 2017 Teen Health Fair well worth attending - and hundreds did! 

The pupil session, hosted by Bangor Academy,  was opened by Koulla Yiasouma, Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY). The Academy welcomed bus-loads of pupils from Bangor Grammar and St. Columbanus’ – their Shared Education partners, all eager to tour the exhibits and demonstrations. 

Delegates sampled Chef Jeffers’ mouth-wateringly-delicious Mexican Chicken Tacos; got physical in mixed tag rugby and learned about the services and experts on hand to help teenagers with many aspects of health and well-being. Exhibitors covered subjects ranging from: cancer to eating disorders; sex education to chiropractic treatment; sexual identity to diabetes. Maggie the dog was a star attraction at the Pets as Therapy stand and everyone left with freebie pens, stress balls and knowledge about where to find help if and when they might need it.

The Health Fair was the brain child of Bangor Academy’s school nurse, Kerry Tinman. Her energy and determination to organise this event along with the Shared Education team ensured its success. She wanted to encourage an open approach to all the issues teenagers grapple with. Judging by the feedback, she has achieved that aim.  She and the team who worked with her would like to thank all the experts, organisations, pupils, parents and agencies who attended.

Mr Pitts, Bangor Academy Principal said:

“The main thought that struck me today was that there are so many organisations available to help us support our teenagers as they negotiate whatever hurdles they meet in life. I know that honest conversations, trust and working together means we can help effectively. We need to encourage teenagers to talk about their worries. We need to keep teaching them about how to ask for help when they need it; that it is normal to need a sympathetic ear or practical advice.

Schools can, and do, provide help from within school and through contacts beyond. Talking about problems, staying connected with young people, promoting ways to achieve a healthy physical and emotional lifestyle will all help to smooth the adolescent journey."

Koulla Yiasouma, the NI Commissioner for Children and Young People,  said in her opening address:

"Young people have a right to an education and that includes learning to be strong and self-confident. You need to know how to protect your own physical and emotional well-being so you can follow your dreams. I always find this quotation from a famous American businessman useful. John Rohn said:

'Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else's hands, but not you.'

I'd like to appeal to all the teenagers here to contribute to NICCY’s 'Speak Your Mind' Survey. We need to hear about your experiences of local teenage mental health provision. Your opinions can help ensure future health and well-being services are tailored to properly meet teenagers' needs."

If you are interested in the survey mentioned by Koulla Yiasouma just follow the link below.

http://www.niccy.org/children-and-young-people/issues-that-affect-you/speak-your-mind/ 

 

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