Mental Health for Schools
More than 3,500 youngsters have been trained in ‘mind fitness’ via our MH4 Schools project.
The training has been provided by West Kent Mind representatives visiting schools across Kent to meet pupils and deliver the interactive and educational programme.
Working with Sevenoaks District Council and Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council, students from four schools – Hugh Christie Technology College, Holmesdale Technology College, Knole Academy and Edenbridge Primary School – have so far received the training.
Sevenoaks District Council’s health portfolio holder, Cllr Michelle Lowe said:
“Mental health is a very important issue and one which is complex. People who experience mental health issues are sometimes not supported as much as they should be, so any project which helps to highlight and educate young people on these issues is very worthwhile and one which I will support 100%.”
Kent County Council (KCC) supports this initiative as part of the funding given to local councils to support healthy lifestyles. KCC’s Director for Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark said:
“We are pleased to be supporting this project and working with partners, including West Kent Mind and local councils, to address the mental health and wellbeing of young people as evidence shows us that early help can make a huge difference both at this time and later in life.”
The Mind Fitness programme helps young people think about and understand their feelings, talk about them and learn ways to look after their mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. When asked what they had learnt at a recent workshops, a 15 year old pupil from Holmesdale said that “You should look after your mental health just like you would your physical health as it is just as important”
Alongside this, KCC’s Public Health Team funded places for school staff to take a Mental Health First Aid training, an in-depth course accredited by Mental Health First Aid England to educate both teaching and support staff. In the past six months more than 3,500 students have received the training along with 45 staff.
Chief Executive of West Kent Mind, Jill Roberts said:
“The student’s feedback has been outstanding with an average of 92% of them giving positive feedback on what they had learnt and with evidence suggesting a rise in mental health problems among school children, there is no better time to tackle the issue of mental health at a particularly vulnerable age group.
“This project continues to raise awareness among the staff and students of how to recognise and look after their own mental health and wellbeing and that of others around them, as well as giving them the tools to manage their own wellbeing and resilience.”
We’re excited about the coming year as we continue to raise awareness and support Sevenoaks District Council in improving their mental health and wellbeing strategies, as well as spreading our wings further afield as we start a new MH4 schools project in East Kent.
We have compiled a list of Resources for Young People for teachers and students looking for further help and support.
West Kent Mind and its partners want to make a sustainable change for the future and feel that this programme has both an immediate and long term impact.