“Virtual” events to offer advice for teenagers, and now also parents, during challenging times

3 April 2020
By Elaine Murphy
elaine@TheCork.ie

TeenTalks Goes Online to Offer Support During COVID-19 Crisis

Cork County Council’s TeenTalks events may have been postponed, but as COVID-19 affects our entire community, it is now more important than ever to communicate.

The TeenTalks series was initially designed to support teenagers with their Health & Wellbeing, particularly Mental Health. There were three “Teen Talks” for transition year students and three associated “Gen Z” events for parents scheduled for this month to be held at venues across Cork County. While the events had to be postponed, a series of video events will now be hosted online. The events will focus on the original intention of Health & Wellbeing for Teens. Still, they will now also be expanded to focus on the Health & Wellbeing of adults too, especially in this challenging time.

This initiative forms part of Cork County Council’s COVID-19 Community Support Programme which has been established by the Council in response to the current pandemic. Further information on the programme can be found at www.corkcoco.ie

File photo from launch:
Anna Geary, Wellbeing / Lifestyle Coach and broadcaster, with Niall O’Callaghan (back left), Cork County Council; Graham McCormack, former MMA Fighter and Mental Health Speaker (centre) and Pat Divilly, Irish Fitness Expert, Author and Entrepreneur, along with students Dylan Roberts, Bandon Grammar School and Abby O’Callaghan, Colaiste Choilm, Ballincollig at Cork County Hall for the launch of the Teen Talk event series to promote positive mental health, fitness and well-being for secondary school students across Cork city and county.
Teen Talk events, organised by Cork County Council and supported by Healthy Ireland
Pic: Brian Lougheed

TeenTalks are organised by Cork County Council and funded by Healthy Ireland through the Council’s three Local Community Development Committees.

Niall O’Callaghan, Cork County Healthy Ireland Coordinator & organiser of Teen Talk says; “The organisers and the speakers were all hugely disappointed in having to postpone the in-person events, but we have decided to move some of the content on-line. With everything that is going on, it would not be unusual for people to feel unsure and perhaps a little worried at this time. We must continue to support our teens and all members of our community in these uncertain times. We would encourage as many people to watch these events, which will be posted on Cork County Council’s Social Media Channels. We would also like to allow the public to take part by submitting a question beforehand to any or all of our speakers.”

Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey went on to say; “The priority for every member of society right now is to be physically distant, but we will ultimately stand together. Our Teen Talk initiative is an excellent example of the role of the public service in supporting our community, especially in its newly expanded version, which will include all the community. I want to thank the speakers who have agreed to take part in these online talks. Together, we can support the community, young and old.”

Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Ian Doyle echoed these sentiments adding “Firstly, I would encourage all schools across Cork who had signed up to attend the events to now take part on-line. I would like to see everyone get involved by inviting all members of our communities to view the events which will be very beneficial for the Health & Wellbeing of the entire household. We are currently experiencing a more challenging way of living, but the power of the human spirit has shone through. We can make this work together to ensure that we can reduce the barriers to proper communication.

I look forward to viewing these on-line and would encourage others to do the same”.

The speakers in the on-line seminars will include;

Grace O’Rourke (Special Forces Hell Week Winner),
Gerry Hussey (Performance Psychology Consultant & Motivational Speaker)
Pat Divilly (Fitness Expert & Entrepreneur)
Graham McCormack (Former MMA Athlete & Mindfulness Coach).
Elaine Crowley (TV Presenter, Virgin TV)
Jennifer Barry (Actress, The Young Offenders)
These inspirational speakers will speak to teenagers and the entire community on topics relating to personal Health & Wellbeing. Teenagers and the public are invited to participate in the events by submitting a question beforehand, to any or all of the speakers. The public should submit their question, including which speaker or speakers it is directed towards to TeenTalks@CorkCoCo.ie Please include “Teen Talks” in the subject line.

The initiative is part of the Healthy Ireland Initiative by Cork County Council’s three Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs). LCDCs comprises both public and private partners who promote and support economic, local and community development through greater integration in the planning and delivery of local and community development services and interventions.

The series of online events will be posted during the week beginning Monday 6th April on YouTube and will be accessible through all of Cork County Council’s social media channels.

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