Teaching young people life skills: ESB announces new partnership with Aware

  • ESB partnership to assist Aware’s rollout of ‘Life Skills for Schools’ programme and herald brighter future for participating ​students
  • The six-week intensive programme teaches young people to better understand how they can improve wellbeing
  • ESB and Aware launch partnership in participating St Paul’s College, Raheny to coincide with Blue Monday, 16 January

15 January 2017

On the eve of ‘Blue Monday’ (16 January 2017) Aware and ESB have joined forces with students of St Paul’s College Raheny and St Mary’s Holy Faith Killester to launch an exciting new partnership, aimed at helping the nationwide roll-out of Aware’s Life Skills for Schools programme for Transition Year students.

Based on Aware’s Life Skills programme for adults, the six-week intensive programme teaches students the ability to understand the relationship between thoughts, feelings and actions; to understand the impact of external events; to look at challenges differently; to develop inner confidence, and to understand how they can improve their own wellbeing.

The adult programme has received very positive feedback from participants in relation to the helpful impact it has had on both their life and their mood. This strategic partnership over three years with ESB will allow Aware roll out the programme for Transition Year students across Ireland. 

The launch of the partnership coincides with the third Monday in January, sometimes cited as the gloomiest day of the year. While there is no scientific basis for the designation, shorter days and less sunlight during winter months can have an adverse impact on mental health and Blue Monday has become a focal point in the calendar for mental health awareness and action.

Announcing the strategic partnership, ESB Chief Executive Pat O’Doherty says:  “ESB is proud to support the roll-out of this practical six-week programme which teaches young people invaluable skills often overlooked in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. ESB staff themselves decide on priority areas in our Corporate Responsibility activities, and how to support positive mental health in young people is particularly close to our hearts. 

“It’s been heartening to launch the strategic partnership in the presence of students from St Paul’s Raheny  and Holy Faith Killester, who are set to gain from receipt of this programme. We look forward to hearing further positive stories from their Transition Year counterparts as the intensive programme every corner of the country.”   

Dominic Layden, Chief Executive Officer of Aware, comments: “We are so pleased to have the support of ESB in bringing this programme to more young people across Ireland. Feedback from students who have already participated in the programme shows that the programme teaches young people really practical, helpful skills that can make a difference to them, to their relationships and to their future. 

“Students say they have learned how to manage feelings; how to manage anger and irritation, and how to deal with the many challenges that may come during adolescence. We can’t wait to bring this programme to more young people nationwide.”  

Support for the three year partnership comes from ESB's Energy for Generations Fund. The Fund sees over €2m per year disbursed across a range of community and issues-based initiatives.  In 2016, the Fund supported over 200 charities across the island of Ireland.  These charities primarily work in the areas of suicide, homelessness and education. Full details on applying for funding, including eligibility criteria for projects, can be found here.

ESB’s Energy for Generations Fund is open to organisations within the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.


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 €2billion 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 €2m per year disbursed across a range of community and issues-based initiatives.  Each year the Fund awards €1m 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 | 39 locations nationwide | 12,600 visits each year

Support Line | 1890 303 302 | open 365 days a year | 11,000 calls each year 

Support Mail | supportmail@aware.ie | 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 | 285,000 unique visits, p.a. 

Aware lectures | 173,000 views in 2015

F: AwareIreland

T: @Aware