Pupils share mental health experiences at Havering Mind awareness event

Lee Clegg, an alternative provision commissioner with Havering Council, Mrs K Seeley, safeguarding o

Lee Clegg, an alternative provision commissioner with Havering Council, Mrs K Seeley, safeguarding officer at Brittons Academy, and students Courtney Kinsey and Amber Cross, both 15 - Credit: Archant

A schools’ mental health awareness event – the first of its kind in Havering – has been hailed as a huge success.

Concerned about rising numbers of young people suffering from mental health problems, charity Havering Mind decided to host a special session for secondary school pupils and their teachers, to highlight key myths, the issues children and teenagers can experience through these difficult, formative years, and the support available.

The three-hour session on Wednesday at Redden Court School, Cotswold Road, Harold Wood, was attended by young people from 11 schools.

Havering Mind’s events co-ordinator Ciaran White told the Recorder: “We were delighted to welcome so many young people to this event to learn about mental health and what they can do to look after their wellbeing.

“It was so great to see them have conversations amongst themselves and it was humbling to hear a number of them speak up in front of the large group about their own experiences with mental health.”

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The event featured presentations, group discussions about issues which can affect a young person’s mental health and a true or false game to debunk some myths.

According to Havering Mind, half of all cases of lifetime mental illness begin before the age of 14, and 14 per cent of young people aged between 12 and 17 experience a mental health problem in any 12-month period.

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The percentage for those aged between 18 and 24 is 27pc.

Ciaran added: “We hope this event has inspired them to go off and learn more about mental health and encouraged them to share this new information with their fellow students, friends and family.

“The students were very enthusiastic, and came up with a number of interesting ideas for things to do in their own schools.

“We look forward to hearing about what they get up to.”

For more on the charity, visit haveringmind.org.uk or call 01708 457040.

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