Headteachers, teachers and teaching assistants across the East Midlands and beyond are being invited to free mental health workshops next week which will tackle identifying self-harm and anxiety disorder in young people.
The sessions are being held as part of the county’s first mental health festival Headfest, which kicks off on Monday 9 May which also marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week.
Paul Hanrahan, who is a teacher at the St Andrew’s Healthcare College, will be delivering two talks which are based on the mental health awareness programme LightBulb which the college has written for primary and secondary school children.
Paul said: “We know the pandemic has had a profound effect on some children’s mental health, and even before we experienced the lockdown anxiety numbers among young people were already high. At St Andrew’s we care for some very poorly young people who have not received the help they needed until it was too late, leading to them needing to come into hospital. It is a worrying situation and the role schools can play in recognising and supporting mental wellbeing is paramount in ensuring young people have access to support when it is most needed.
“LightBulb is all about equipping our young people with the skills they need to be resilient and seek help about mental health issues, hopefully reducing the distress they experience and positively impacting the outcomes they experience. We believe early intervention is essential and can make a huge difference to the wellbeing of those children who are experiencing mental health issues.
“We’re thrilled to have been asked to take part in Headfest and provide teachers with a brief introduction to our programme, which could make all the difference in helping a young person who may be silently struggling.”
Paul’s first session will focus on self-harm and will take place at the Royal & Derngate on Wednesday 11 May at 11:30am to 12:30pm. The second session about recognising anxiety disorder is being delivered on Thursday 12 May between 1pm-2pm.
For more information about Headfest, visit https://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/whats-on/headfest-2022/
To find out more about the St Andrew’s Healthcare LightBulb programme go to https://www.stah.org/education/light-bulb/