Ways to Wellbeing Intergenerational Programme

Wellbeing initiative to focus on fostering positive mental health and connections among young and older persons


Business, Life

A new intergenerational project, Ways to Wellbeing, which aims to foster local connections and encourage students to learn about wellbeing and mental health from older persons in their community, has launched a pilot phase across six schools in the Dublin 8 area.

Ways to Wellbeing is a project by Walk in My Shoes, the flagship awareness-raising campaign of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, and was produced in collaboration with Smart D8, an initiative that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of citizens in Dublin 8.

Launched on 1 October to coincide with International Day for Older Persons, the project is tailored towards primary and secondary school students, and aims to promote positive mental health, wellbeing and learning through the facilitation of meaningful and rewarding conversations between young and older persons in the community.

Through participating in the project, students will seek to learn the following from the older population in their community:

  • Ways to build and maintain wellbeing
  • How to build resilience
  • An important lesson that made a positive difference to their life.


The pilot phase of the initiative, which will see 306 students taking part, invites participants to interview family members from the Dublin 8 area; write letters to day centres or nursing homes; and utilise a range of mediums, such as podcasts, written stories, film or photography, to create engaging projects that showcase the connections between young and old, and what the students have learned.

To help them get started with their projects, all students, and their teachers, received a Ways to Wellbeing Project Information Pack outlining all the various approaches they can take.

The schools taking part are:

  • Scoil Treasa Naofa,Donore Avenue
  • Griffith Barracks MDS , South Circular Road
  • Scoil Mhuire gan Smál , Inchicore
  • St Enda’s Primary School, Whitefriar Street
  • Presentation Secondary School Warrenmount
  • Christian Brothers Secondary School Synge Street.

Amanda McArdle, Campaign Manager of Walk in My Shoes said: “Walk in My Shoes is delighted to collaborate with Smart D8 to launch this exciting and innovative new project on a pilot basis across schools in the Dublin 8 community. Ways to Wellbeing is an opportunity for younger people to learn about wellbeing and resilience from the diverse experience and expertise of older people, while also promoting positive mental health in the older population through connectivity and inclusion.”

Orla Veale, Lead at Smart D8 said: “Smart D8 are proud to partner with Walk in My Shoes and St Patrick’s Mental Health Services on the Ways to Wellbeing project. We are excited to see how this intergenerational initiative will impact positive mental health and wellbeing within the local community.”

At the end of the pilot, all students’ projects will be added to the Walk in My Shoes School Portal, an online platform that enables school staff to highlight and share what they are doing in their schools, classrooms and communities to promote positive mental health and wellbeing. A number of winning projects will then be selected and displayed in an exhibition and digital display in St Patrick’s University Hospital, Dublin 8 over January and February.

Following on from the roll-out of the pilot project in Dublin 8, it is hoped that the initiative will launch in schools across Ireland from early in 2022.

For more information on Ways to Wellbeing click here.

About Walk in My Shoes

Walk in My Shoes is St Patrick’s Mental Health Services’ flagship awareness and education campaign.  Established in 2012, Walk in My Shoes runs initiatives throughout the year to promote positive mental health in schools and communities around Ireland, including the Mission Possible school achievement awards, the Frame of Mind short film competition, #MindYourSelfie free eBooks and School Resources, and the Transition Year Programme.

For more, please visit www.walkinmyshoes.ie, or follow us on Twitter (@walkinmyshoes), Facebook (WalkInMyShoes) or Instagram (@stpatricks_wims).

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