Tackling teenage mental health issues

We are hosting a ‘Time to Talk Day’ in school on Thursday 6thFebruary to raise awareness of mental health issues in young people.

We are working children’s mental health charity MindFull in a pilot scheme to raise awareness of the issues and support available for young people in Cumbria.

The event aims to get pupils talking about mental health and to illustrate that mental health problems in young people are common and having those conversations needn’t be as hard as people sometimes fear.

MindFull is a charity delivering a new service for 11-17 year olds, providing support, information and advice about mental health and emotional wellbeing – all online so that young people can access help whenever and wherever they need it.

Bright Tribe’s Director of Leadership Trish Franey said: “We are acutely aware of the impact mental and emotional wellbeing has on young people’s ability to achieve in all aspects of their lives. Bringing The Whitehaven Academy and MindFull together in this initiative will help to develop our pupils’ understanding of the issues while also providing vital support to young people throughout Cumbria.”

The head boy and head girl and deputy head boy and girl at the school have all been heavily involved in the organisation of a launch event at the school for pupils and invited community visitors. This has included putting together a presentation to launch ‘Time to Talk Day’ which will be followed by a presentation from MindFull and a discussion led by a young person who has benefitted from the support of MindFull about how mentoring has helped her.

Representatives of each year group will attend the event and will then be tasked with cascading the information to their peers and generating awareness of, and discussion about, mental health.

As an on-going project, MindFull will be working with us to set up a mentoring scheme amongst the pupils. Specialist trainers from MindFull will work with pupils at The Whitehaven Academy to educate them about how to cope with mental health issues and how to access the support they need. These new MindFull mentors will then join the hundreds of existing MindFull trained mentors on the MindFull.org site, where children and teenagers can mentor one another in a safe space as well as access the support of mental health professionals.

Emma-Jane Cross, CEO and founder of MindFull, said: “Too many children who try to speak out about the way they’re feeling are being let down or simply ignored. So it is fantastic that pupils from The Whitehaven Academy are not only talking about mental health but are also volunteering to provide support and guidance to other young people, both locally in Cumbria and across the country.”

Bright Tribe Trust is working with us to deliver a programme of events and activities to support pupils in their lives both inside and outside school. This includes visits from inspirational people, sporting events, extra-curricular activities and changes to the curriculum.

Lynette Norris, Principal of The Whitehaven Academy said: “I am delighted that our Academy is launching such a high profile event. This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to help other young people on a daily basis and make a real difference to their lives.”