I am deputy head girl at school and with that I decided to do my main work around health and wellbeing. I have spent much time in and out of different counselling services and also later supporting other young people struggling with their mental wellbeing. After seeing countless cases of different problems from exam pressure and anxiety to eating disorders I decided it was time for someone to stand up and speak out about these issues. I believe that you should always “Speak out for those who have no voice” and following that, I established several services in school to support the students and staff.
I have created a role for senior prefects as ‘Student listeners’ which is a service where by pupils can seek advice and help from our own sixth form team who received training from two educational psychologists. I created a committee that stands 8 members of sixth form (including myself) and different professionals within the school to provide an opportunity for students to voice their opinions on the current services provided in school and how student’s overall wellbeing can be improved. I work closely with the school nurse to deliver sessions at our weekly school health clinic. These sessions cover a variety of issues such as drugs and alcohol, smoking, sexual health, mental and emotional health. I also constructed a booklet to help staff identify and deal with students suffering with mental illnesses.
As soon as I heard about the InHand project I knew that it would be extremely beneficial and I wanted to get involved as I am very passionate about the wellbeing of young people. As someone who has been through the mental health system, I knew of the stigma attached and how young people can be treated. It is said that 1 in 10 young people will suffer from a mental illness and this statistic is on the rise. Young minds said that it is a “mental health ticking time bomb” and that is why action needs to be taken by us all.
Using these services and our app I hope that in the future young people will feel that they are in control of their own wellbeing and gain the support and guidance that they need to flourish and achieve their full potential.