On Thursday 10th October students and staff at The Grange Academy undertook a range of activities to promote positive mental health.
Young people’s mental health and wellbeing has never been so important and current statistics indicate that;
1 in 8 children have a diagnosable mental health disorder – that’s roughly 3 children in every classroom.
1 in 6 young people aged 16-24 has symptoms of a common mental disorder such as depression or an anxiety disorder.
Half of all mental health problems manifest by the age of 14, with 75% by age 24.
In 2017, suicide was the most common cause of death for both boys (16.2% of all deaths) and girls (13.3%) aged between 5 and 19.
To raise awareness of this important issue, students took the opportunity to wear a yellow accessory during the day and staff also dressed in yellow to show support. Activities took place throughout the day, not only to raise awareness of this issue, but to get our students reflecting upon their own mental health in a positive manner. Students were able to have a healthy breakfast upon arrival to school, and started the day with a ‘Wake up and shake up’ activity to promote the idea of having a healthy body and mind. Staff shared important information about current statistics and every day ideas to support the students positive wellbeing. The Grange Academy library has a wealth of age appropriate reading material for all students to access, and many staff took the opportunity to share some excellent literature with our students, ranging from stories such as ‘Little Beans Friend’ by John Graham Wallace, ‘The Book of Feelings’ by Amanda McArdie, and ‘Happy in Our Skin’ by Fran Manushkin to name a few.
Along with all the activities school staff had arranged, we were extremely lucky to be joined by a large number of external agencies who came along to provide information to our students on the type of support they can access out of school. Students had the opportunity to talk to expert staff from the School Health team, CAMHS, Child Bereavement UK, Kooth, Inspire Wellbeing Service, Young Addaction, Nightstop Northwest and the Carers Centre. Principal Ian Critchley stated, ‘we feel honoured to have had the support of so many agencies who have recognised the commitment of The Grange Academy to support all of our students’ mental health, from the age of 3 up to the age of 16.’
Safeguarding Officer Gemma Alexander-Bloomfield added “We are so grateful to the agencies who came in to support our event and for the continued support they offer to school throughout the year. We recognise the importance of supporting the health and wellbeing of each and every one of our students, and the participation of all staff and students demonstrated the positive ethos within the school in terms of the support we are able to offer’
The impact of such an important event is already being seen with students commenting that ‘I have found out loads of information and my life is going to be better now.’ Parents have given feedback that ‘my child is receiving above and beyond care form this school over their mental health.’