Pupils from Enniskillen Royal Grammar School and St. Michael's College were involved in a shared learning exchange through OUR Generation, an EU-funded Peace IV project led by Action Mental Health, which aims to build positive relations and resilience in children and young people.

Throughout the school year, pupils completed Mental Health Ambassador and Peer Mentor Programmes and their animation reflects the knowledge and skills they have learned.

The students visited each other’s schools for a series of workshops with professional animator Joel Simon from Hola Lola animations – whose animated films and programmes have been showcased internationally, for clients such as Channel 4, Comic Relief UK, Discovery Channel and the BBC.

Mrs. Heather Kettyle, a senior teacher at Enniskillen Royal Grammar said: “Enniskillen Royal are delighted to have taken part in the OUR Generation project. We really enjoyed working with St. Michael’s College, and it brought together our own pupils with the boys from our neighbouring school to build up relationships through a fun, creative activity which was excellent for their wellbeing.”

She added: “Pupils were expertly guided and facilitated in producing wonderful creative animations through workshops which enabled them to interact freely whilst exploring key issues based upon the Trauma LENS.”

Kate Huddlestone, a pupil at Enniskillen Royal Grammar, said that through taking part in the OUR Generation project pupils learned practical skills to help themselves and support others. She said: “We learned how to identify the signs if someone needs help and is dealing with stress or trauma in mental health. Mental health is not something that people talk about very often, and needs to be better understood.”

Another pupil, Rory Mullarkey, from St. Michael's College, said learning about mental health is so important as a lot of young people, particularly young men, are struggling. He said: “It’s just not being seen, and I think that if people were to reach out more then it would help everyone out.”

He added: “Programmes like this are so important, and this video is going to help so many young people.”

OUR Generation project worker, Rosie Maguire, who delivered the mental health and peer mentoring programmes to both schools, said: “This was a wonderful opportunity to have Fermanagh voices and creativity at the heart of explaining these key messages about understanding trauma and how we respond to it.

“The completed animation will be used in schools throughout the country as part of Action Mental Health and OUR Generation’s Mental Health Awareness programmes.”

She added: “This will be a legacy for years to come of the hard work and inspiration of all those who took part.”

The animation called ‘What’s a Trauma LENS?’ will premiere on social media on Thursday, December 15, as part of Transgenerational Trauma Awareness Day, which launched last year.

OUR Generation is an EU PEACE IV-funded project active on both sides of the border. The objective of the project is Growing Up Better, Together.