Buddy Bench Ireland is a mental well-being initiative for primary school children. We have developed the online "ItsCool2BKind" age appropriate programme for teachers as a CPD to gain the skills to teach the programme to their students.
The programme is designed to be used in conjunction with a Buddy Bench™, a colourful bench which is placed in a schoolyard.The idea is that if a child has no one to play with they can sit on the bench. During the programme, children are taught to come over and ask the child, ‘Are you OK?’ or ‘Do you want to play with me?’
The online evidence informed lessons are designed to foster compassion in children and give them to the tools to communicate and understand their feelings.
Topics include resilience, friendship, independent thinking, emotional intelligence, coping strategies, interpersonal and relationship skills, kindness and celebrating being unique.
Meet the team
FOUNDER & CEO
After teaching adults and young people ICT skills for many years she discovered her passion for education and how it can bring about change in people’s lives. After her daughter was born, educational and the gift of, became even more important, she developed a great interest in social and emotional intelligence and that of children’s positive mindset.
A fully accredited member of IACP and a mum to three very wise daughters has expert knowledge of the importance of social and emotional learning for children. Michelle has her own psychotherapy practice where she experiences first hand the many problems our children face today. “Early Intervention is key to reaching children before the problems manifest themselves”.
Michelle O Brien
Digital Strategist and E-Learning Designer with a passion for immersive digital user experiences that delight learners. Passionate about education with 10 years experience delivering online courses to thousands of learners worldwide as well as teaching web design and multimedia in a real classroom with the CDETB and Ballsbridge College of Further Education.
By teaching children as young as three years old, we aim to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health in Ireland; and change our culture for generations to come.
Our vision is a future where each child is supported to thrive throughout their school years in a community that priorities their mental health. How?