- 24 Apr 18
This week RTE is running a special programme called The Big Picture from today until Thursday, covering the dark corners of Youth Mental Health in this country and informing viewers how we can help our children
From today until Thursday, RTE is running an initiative on youth mental health awareness and will feature a number of programmes focused on the issue. Teacher and artist Joe Caslin is one of the main people behind the operation, speaking from personal challenges he has had to deal with, being a teacher in Irish schools.
Caslin has created a giant three story tall mural depicting a pensive young man with his hood up looking down, which has been attached to a building on RTE's campus in Dublin, facing the Stillorgan Road, one of the busiest roads going into the city centre.
Programmes across TV and Radio will report on some of the key issues effecting youth mental health. RTE News will have dedicated digital stories on the subject online and on social media accounts while RTE Sport's will host a special GAA panel discussion on the topic. On 2FM, they will be speaking to guests on a range of related issues on our daily programmes. Tracy Clifford finds out what ingredients go into making a hit to cheer you up and throughout the week they will be creating a playlist of pick-me-up tunes with tracks nominated by 2fm presenters and listeners.
Speaking on the initiative, Joe Caslin said; "mental health has been kept in a shadowy environment for too long and that it's important we bring it into our daily conversations." He confessed that in the 5 years he has been teaching he has lost 5 of his own students to mental health and found it very difficult to accept.
Casein has previously worked with charities such as Pieta House, which aims to raise awareness about mental health. He is also the artist behind the well-known mural of two men embracing, which was placed on the side of a Dublin building in the lead up to the same-sex marriage referendum.
This week also sees the launch of a new service on 2fm.ie called Mind Yourself providing listeners with details of the organisation available to help them. On Thursday night at 9.35pm RTE One will broadcast The Big Picture- Young and Troubled, a one hour documentary which highlights the reality of mental health issues among Ireland's young people. This will be followed by a live studio discussion presented by Keelin Shanley on 2FM's Eoghan McDermott.