DYS FREE Personal Development Programme for Young People (16-25 years)

Donegal Youth Service | FREE Personal Development Programme for Young People (16-25 years)

Are you aged 16-25? Are you bored? Fed up sitting at home? Want a challenge? Need to get out there? Well we might just be able to help!

Donegal Youth Service is currently recruiting young people for their new one day a week ‘REACTIV8’ ‘Personal Youth Development Programme’ funded by the International Fund for Ireland.

This programme is absolutely free of charge, and has numerous great things to offer to young people including the opportunity to meet other young people, participate in team building exercises, residentials and activities with a strong emphasis on personal development skills such as confidence and self-esteem building, problem solving, coping skills and more.The focus of ‘Reactiv8’ is learning employability skills in a safe and friendly environment. Participants will develop CV writing skills, filling out job applications, and interview preparations/tips/practices. Work experience and internship opportunities will be arranged for participants in their area of interest. Participants will also be able to avail of accredited training during the programme.

As well as working together in a group participants will also receive one to one support from their mentor for the duration of the programme.

Youth Employability Worker Michelle Wylam shared that “Helen Simms and I are very much looking forward to working on this project, meeting the participants and working with them to achieve their goals.”

The aim of the programme is for young people to feel empowered to find their way back to training, further education or employment. It aims to engage young people and create a space where they will be supported to discover and to achieve their full potential.

It is currently based in Letterkenny, Buncrana, Ballybofey, Strabane and Sion Mills.

If you would like to take part in this free programme or find out more please contact Youth Employability Workers Michelle on 085 251 9287, or Helen

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Infant Mental Health Awareness Week runs from June 13th-19th.           

This week provides an opportunity to focus attention on the wellbeing, social and emotional development of our babies and young children. It highlights the importance of early relationships and a relationship based approach to interventions with infants and families. As our understanding of IMH and its evidence base develops, so also does our knowledge of how to apply this knowledge and an ‘IMH lens’ to interactions with infants, parents and caregivers in health and social services. 

What is infant mental health?

Infant Mental health (IMH) refers to the healthy social and emotional development of Infants starting at conception up to three years of age.

The first 1000 days of life are recognised as a critical period of opportunity to support infant mental health. Decades of research have shown that it is the quality of the early caregiver relationship that is a significant determinant of the infant’s healthy social and emotional development and in turn physical health, right up to adulthood.


The National Healthy Childhood Programme has embedded IMH as the foundation of the development of its resources and in the approach of the delivery of the universal child health service. This embedding of key messages can be seen in the My Child suite of books (www.mychild.ie/books) and also on www.MyChild.ie  where key messages around bonding and relationship building have been embedded for the parent/caregiver.


In clinical practice the topic of IMH has been included for the first time in the National Standardised Child Health Record. To build on this, the National Healthy Childhood Programme have just completed a suite of three eLearning units which are now available on HSEland for healthcare practitioners / caregivers who are working with children and families.  


Throughout the week you will see videos and key IMH messaging being promoted on the HSE MyChild social media pages ( Facebook / Instagram ). Keep an eye out in the National Newspapers for articles from our experts also. (IrishTimes article)  


In addition The National Healthy Childhood Programme have developed a series of ten practical videos with HSE expert advice which are now available on YouTube and on the relevant pages on the www.mychild.ie website.

These videos (2-3 minutes each) are aimed at parents/guardians of children (0 – 3 years).

These new video resources are available here while lots more expert advice for every step of pregnancy, baby and toddler health can also be found at www.mychild.ie

There are a suite of posters available focusing on the promotion of IMH messaging to order from healthy.childhood@hse.ie

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