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Back to Press Releases 12 March 2020

Aware to roll out its Life Skills for School programme across the country

  • Following successful pilot programme, Aware aims to deliver its mental-health focused programme to more than 15,000 students across 26 counties over a three-year period
  • ESB is supporting the initiative through its Energy for Generations Fund with other organisations encouraged to apply for funding
  • Four-week programme is aimed at 15 to 18-year olds to promote resilience and well-being in young people, as well as teaching coping skills to deal with life’s challenges

10th March 2020

Following the success of its pilot project over the last two years, Aware is rolling out its free ‘Life Skills for Schools’ programme across the country to help teenagers cope with many of life’s challenges.

The programme – run over four weeks – is designed to promote positive mental health and build resilience in young people. Last year alone, having successfully ran 140 programmes in various schools, Aware’s aim is to expand its reach with a further 553 programmes over the next two years.

As part of the programme, students explore and learn how to understand the relationship between thoughts, feelings and actions; to understand unhelpful thinking styles and learn how they might change them; to learn how to manage unhelpful behaviours and learn how to make small practical changes; to build inner confidence, and to understand how they can improve their own wellbeing.

Referring to the importance of such programmes targeted at this age group, Dominic Layden, Chief Executive of Aware, said: “It is enormously important that young people gain knowledge and understanding of how to manage their own mental health so that they can cope with the challenges presented to them in their daily lives. We have a responsibility to not only educate our children but to also prepare them for life. Our Life skills programme is a start of the journey for young people to understand how their thoughts, feelings and actions interact and how with knowledge and skills training we can help children to equip themselves with a range of coping skills.”

This programme is being funded by ESB through its Energy for Generations Fund. The Fund sees over €1m per year disbursed across a range of community and issues-based initiatives. In 2019, the Fund supported more than 200 organisations across the island of Ireland. These organisations primarily work in the areas of suicide, homelessness and education.

Commenting on the partnership, Pat Naughton, ESB’s Executive Director, People and Organisation, said: “Through our Energy for Generations Fund, we aim to support organisations such as Aware to offer programmes that will have a lasting positive impact for all participants. I commend Aware’s efforts in taking its ‘Life Skills for Schools’ programme to classrooms nationwide and indeed its broader work in providing education and support. Our Energy for Generations Fund is open to similar initiatives in homelessness, suicide prevention, education access and support - we encourage all organisations in these areas  to apply so we can help bring about effective change and create a brighter future for all."
More information on ESB’s Energy for Generations Fund can be found here with the next closing date for applications on Tuesday 5th May 2020.

Pictures from the programme launch can be downloaded here. 
Media Queries:
Grainne Burns, ESB Press Officer, 087-9536640

About ESB: 

ESB operates right across the electricity market: from generation, through transmission and distribution to the supply of customers. ESB is the owner of the distribution and transmission networks in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It has a 49% share of generation in the all-island market and a 38% share of electricity supply in the all-island market with 1.4 million customer accounts.

ESB contributes over €2 billion annually to the Irish economy through dividends, investments, taxes and jobs. ESB provides significant employment both directly, with 7,600 employees, and indirectly through contractors and service providers.

ESB's Energy for Generations Fund sees over €2 million per year disbursed across a range of community and issues-based initiatives. Each year the Fund awards €1 million in direct funding through a quarterly fund to charities working in the areas of suicide, homelessness and education access and support. The remainder is allocated across a range of initiatives including support for ElectricAid, wind farm community funds, fuel poverty programmes and support for staff volunteering.  

About Aware:

Aware is the national organisation providing support, education and information services around depression and bipolar disorder. Founded in 1985 the organisation now offers: 


Support Groups | 26 locations nationwide | 10,000 visits each year

Support Line | 1890 303 302 | open 365 days a year | 20,000 calls each year 

Support Mail | | 2,300 emails each year 


Beat the Blues | Schools talk | Life Skills 6-session programme | c. 28,000 students each year

Life Skills | Group – Nationwide | Online | 2,500 participants each year

Wellness@Work | Positive Mental Health at Work | 3,000 employees nationwide each year


Aware website | 929,000 unique visits, p.a. 

Aware lectures | 500,000 views in 2019

Facebook: AwareIreland
Twitter: @Aware