The Health Service Executive (HSE) in the Republic of Ireland piloted Zippy's Friends in schools in the west of Ireland in 2008-10. The HSE is responsible for running the country's health and personal social services, and Zippy's Friends was introduced as part of its programme for mental health promotion.
The pilot programme ran in three areas in the north west of the country: Donegal, Sligo/Leitrim and Galway. An extensive evaluation of the programme, involving both experimental and control groups, took place under the direction of Dr Margaret Barry at NUI Galway, and the results (published in 2010) were extremely positive. It is hoped that Zippy's Friends will spread to many more schools in the coming years.
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