Our Work

'Be Healthy, Be Happy' Programme

This programme was developed based on consultation with staff, volunteers and young people in relation to the needs of adolescents today. Specifically, this programme focuses on four areas of health and well-being including; physical health, social health, mental health and spiritual health. The programme consists of 2 modules, each containing over 14 hours of facilitated content to achieve specified learning outcomes.  This programme is aimed at 12-18 year olds.


The Be Healthy, Be Happy programme consists of four over arching concepts; Physical Health, Social Health, Mental Health and Spiritual Health. Within these components a number of issues are dealt with such as stress, bullying, alcohol/drug use and depression in a way that enhances the young people’s capacity to cope with challenges as they emerge and aims to build their resilience and social support network in a real and tangible way. Throughout this programme participants engage with topics such as friendships, problem-solving, spiritual qualities such as kindness, fairness and gratitude all of which contribute to one’s health and well-being. 

The programme is based on international evidence in terms of health and well-being education. The activities in the programme are underpinned by theories and principles of youth work as well as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need (Maslow, 1943), The Four Dimensions of Health, (O’Toole and Kropf, 2010) and the Health Belief Model (Rosenstock, 1966 and Becker, 1974). All of the activities in this manual incorporate the experiential learning cycle (Kolb et al, 1971) in the processing which is vital for reflection and application of the learning.


The aim of Foróige’s Be Healthy, Be Happy programme is to enable young people to take charge of their health and well-being so as to enhance the quality of their lives by developing strengths and assets in areas of physical, mental, social and spiritual health.

A selection of outcomes from Module 1 of Be Healthy, Be Happy

Participants will be able to:

  • Assess their current lifestyle to identify factors that help or hinder their physical health.
  • Identify the positive effects of regular physical activity, a healthy balanced diet and a good personal hygiene routine.
  • Identify personal social skills and demonstrate effective communication skills in different social interactions.
  • Explore bullying and other challenging social situations and identify coping strategies to deal with these situations.
  • Identify personal strengths and build on the positive within themselves – what they love and care about, their strengths and talents, their hopes and what is possible in their lives.
  • Outline the range of thoughts and feelings they might experience when they are dealing with a problem.
  • Apply a simple problem-solving tool to situations they encounter in their lives.
  • Use breathing techniques to calm their thinking and relax (mindfulness).
  • Describe what spirituality means to them.
  • Identify the spiritual qualities important to them and develop a way to put these qualities into practice e.g. kindness, compassion, fairness, happiness and gratitude.
  • Name relevant health professionals and services which can offer advice or support around physical, mental, social and spiritual health needs.

A selection of outcomes from Module 2 of Be Healthy, Be Happy

Participants will be able to:

  • Recognise the effects of stress and apply coping strategies to deal with stressful situations.
  • Analyse their eating habits to ensure balance and variety in their diet.
  • List the effects and harms associated with smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • List ways in which a healthy sleep routine is linked to health and well-being.
  • Determine their personality type and reflect on how it can influence their behaviour and interactions with others.
  • Identify techniques that improve communication in families.
  • Examine their social identity and how it can help them make connections to others.
  • Reflect on how their thoughts, feelings and behaviours affect each other.
  • Practice positive self-talk and apply it in challenging situations.
  • Demonstrate love, peace, patience and forgiveness in their lives.
  • Identify ways to connect with nature and their environment.
  • Evaluate their health and wellbeing and incorporate new behaviours to achieve positive holistic health.

Training and Programme Resources

The Be Healthy, Be Happy programme will assist professionals and volunteers to support young people to develop an awareness of their unique qualities and potential, as well as increase their confidence in their assets and strengths. The programme will help young people develop effective coping skills and challenge attitudes to risky behaviours, in turn influencing the choices and decisions they make.

This resource is for use by facilitators to assist in the positive and healthy development of young people. A one day training is required to facilitate this programme.  The training is interactive and participatory, to ensure that individuals have the knowledge and skills to deliver the programme. Participants at training receive the Be Healthy, Be Happy Module 1 manual and copies of all worksheets and printouts necessary for facilitation of the programme. The training comprises of the background and theories underpinning the programme, facilitation of the activities from the programme by training participants and an overview of health promotion policy and practice.  Participants who implement Module 1 with young people will obtain the Be Healthy, Be Happy Module 2 manual. 

The programme can be used in all youth work settings; volunteer-led clubs, youth projects or schools.  Each session is estimated to take minimum 1 hour or can be broken down into two parts taking approximately 30 minutes (may be more suitable for volunteer-led clubs).