Caistor students focus on mental health

Ready to tackle mental health head on are, from left, Tom Rollinson, Lauren Shale, Archie Swain and Pippa Bradley EMN-180226-161641001

A group of Caistor students is tackling issues surrounding mental health head on with a week of activities.

The senior prefect team at Caistor Grammar School is committed to breaking the stigma attached to mental health issues and helping their fellow students cope with life’s challenges.

Head boy Tom Rollinson, head girl Lauren Shale, together with their deputies, Archie Swain and Pippa Bradley, and secretaries to the school council, Harriet Lloyd and Adam Pountney have been delighted with the support they have received for their Mental Health Awareness Week initiative.

Lauren said: “It is something that we feel is really important.

“Our aim is to break the stigma and get people talking.

“We want to show there is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to mental health.”

Supporting students across the year groups is something at the heart of the Caistor Grammar School community and the work being done by the senior prefect team has been praised by head teacher Alistair Hopkins.

He said: “It’s so important that we empower our students to break the stigma.

“We’ve always been a community that actively encourages students talking about mental health issues.

“Our senior prefect team has lead the way on this initiative. It says a great deal about their qualities as tomorrow’s leaders.”

The theme of the week is Your Mental Health Matters and everyone will be issued with a specially designed button badge to remind them of this.

Throughout the week, which starts on Monday, March 5, there will be a lunchtime activity to get involved with, to show ways of combatting stress.

Pippa said: “We have tried to involve the whole school and get them involved with activities and that has worked well.

“We have things like yoga and clubercise to help show how to de-stress.

“It is going to be a good week.”

As well as lunchtime events, there will be assemblies focusing on mental health and time in form periods for extra activities.

Tom said: “We have had some great feedback and a lot of people have wanted to join in with providing something for the week.

“We have our sixth form mentors who are always on hand for students to talk to, but not many people go and see them.

“They are fully on board with our mental health awareness week, so it will help show how they can help too.”

It is important for the team to make sure the week is accessible to all students.

Archie said: “There are different degrees of stress throughout the year groups, from year seven joining a new school right through to exams.

“It is important to help everyone discover ways to combat stress, but also to help them recognise any mental health issues in their peers and know ways to help them too.”

And the team is keen for this mental health focus to continue after they have left the school

Archie added: “Mental health is something that needs to be a focus all year round, so we want to pass this on to the next leadership team.

“We want to keep it going throughout the years.”

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