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Mental Health Awareness Week: 'My Voice Matters'

Throughout January and February, there have been a range of events culminating in the celebration of this year’s Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, which featured the theme ‘My Voice Matters’.  

The Wellbeing Team explain more:

Every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously. Empowering children and young people can have a positive impact on their health and wellbeing. Young people who feel that their voices are heard and that what they say makes a difference, have higher levels of self-efficacy and self-esteem. They also have a greater sense of community and as people become empowered, they can work together to create positive changes for themselves and for others.

The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child

We began the new year with a wellbeing workshop for Year 7 parents with Jenny Langley from the Charlie Waller Trust. This explored practical ways to help communicate with their teenage children and described seven practical tips to help parents keep lines of communication open, whatever the teenager’s mood. 

At the end of January, parents were invited to celebrate Parental Mental Health Day by joining a webinar hosted by the charity Stem4. This discussed ways in which to help relationships to flourish and focused on concepts of connecting, playing and resting with practical tools to help in creating positive relationships. Parental Mental Health Day was an opportunity for parents and carers to acknowledge and discuss their struggles and share in their achievements of connecting positively with each other and the whole family, and to learn ways to connect positively to maximise young people’s mental health.   

 On Monday 29 January TGS was part of the largest schools’ mental health TV broadcast hosted by DJ and mental health campaigner, Roman Kemp. He had teamed up with the charity Here4u and six other UK leading mental health charities with the aim of reaching as many 11–14-year-olds across the UK as possible. This was streamed to students during their afternoon form time, to explore positive solutions to those facing mental health challenges. We now know that this reached over 1 million students! 

We would like to thank our wonderful peer mentors and head students who helped to host a week of assemblies, presenting an engaging presentation to all year groups on this year’s Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week theme; ‘My Voice Matters.’  

At the start of the week, Kooth hosted a live stream on the topic of ‘Managing Anxiety and Self care.’ Kooth is a free, safe, anonymous online emotional wellbeing community where young people from aged 11-25 years old can access professional support. That evening we had the pleasure of being joined again by the excellent Charlie Waller Trust team, to help host a wellbeing evening for Year 9 and 10 parents and carers, on the topic of perfectionism.  We will shortly be sharing the presentation with all parents.

On Wednesday we participated in the Young Minds Hello Yellow charity fundraiser, which was an own clothes day with staff and students (and Anakin one of our wellbeing dogs!) wearing something yellow to support mental health. Thank you to everyone who contributed and to our amazing mascots for collecting donations! 

At lunchtime we asked staff and students to contribute to creating a gratitude wall, which will be displayed outside the Wellbeing Hub. 

We held a competition for our Year 8 students to create positive mental health and wellbeing posters for our counselling rooms and student support hub and had some incredibly talented illustrations! Congratulations to our overall winners, Sophie, Lili, Maia, Liza and Emilie on your ‘mental health garden’ poster. 

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week across our school community, we shared links to the resource ‘This May Help’. The website has been written for parents/carers and offers practical advice for supporting children’s mental health and covers a range of subjects, such as sleep, boundaries and anxiety.  

Tagged  Main School  Sixth Form