World Mental Health Day 2022
Monday 10 October is World Mental Health Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of Mental Health issues. This year the theme is 'Making mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority.' Never before has it been so necessary to talk about mental health. In particular, evidence suggests that the Covid-19 pandemic had a disastrous impact on the mental health of young people.
As such, St. Mary's is fully dedicated to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of the students in its care. A wide range of staff have been trained in Mental Health First and we have two dedicated members of staff, Katie Phillips and Andy Flint, who play a leadership role in helping to provide support in this vital area. Our nursing team have expert knowledge and the school provides counselling sessions for those students who would benefit from the opportunity to talk through their worries. Our students help too: many have been trained as peer mentors who provide a listening ear to worried students. Our 'Student Voice' programme is dedicated to providing leadership opportunities and responsibility to our students our Wellbeing Committee, run entirely by the girls, helps organise events and give presentations across the Year groups to raise the awareness of mental health issues. The committee are going to be trained as 'Student Ambassadors' by the Safeguarding Alliance, an organisation that supports the wellbeing of young people. The work of the committee challenges the stigma surrounding talking about mental health. Please see the 'Wellbeing pages' on the school website for more guidance and advice on this important issue.
Alongside World Mental Health Day, the wellbeing committee are very excited to announce the official opening of the Senior School Wellbeing room, which is due to happen next week. This room provides a dedicated space for a range of activities supporting good mental health: the peer mentors will provide a drop-in service, clubs that help students to relax, like knitting and felting will meet there, and counselling and yoga sessions will take place in the room. Students can colour mindful postcards and a 'doodle wall' can be decorated by the students themselves. Their own fantastic artwork and photography are on the walls. The room even has its own teddy bear, though this bear does not have a name, so one of the first things students who visit the room will have the opportunity to do is to enter a competition to pick a name for the bear! The student wellbeing committee will pick their favourite names.
Designed and decorated to feel homely, relaxing and positive, we hope that this room will provide a popular and important source of support for the long-term mental health and wellbeing of our students.