Mental Health Awareness week

The Sixth Form at Harrogate Grammar School recently put on a host of events to raise awareness about mental health. As part of the national Mental Health Awareness Week, there was a wide range of activities available to students each day, from yoga to rounders, board games to music sessions, each one enabling the students to take time out of their academic studies to talk to staff and trained peer mentors.

As part of the Progression Programme at Harrogate Grammar School, Year 12 students took part in an assembly in which they heard from a teacher who has bipolar disorder. The teacher explained what the condition is, what it feels like to live with the disorder and what the effects are, in a way the students could clearly understand. The students then watched a drama performance by three Year 13 boys whose message was very clear “it’s ok to feel, it’s ok to cry”. The Sixth Form team used this session as a timely reminder for all young people to seek help if they feel they need it and signposted them to a number of resources for further support. One student said, “it was so helpful to understand what some people feel, mental health is just as important as physical health. Just because you can’t see it, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there”. Another remarked, “It was so good to hear someone articulate a little bit of what I feel, it’s good to know I am not alone and that there are places that can help me”.

The school as a whole continues to work with Just B in supporting the emotional well-being of all of its students. This support includes access to one:one support, drop-in sessions and sign-posting to other relevant services. All pastoral staff at Harrogate Grammar School have now been through Level 1 Compass Buzz training on prevention and promotion of mental health and well-being and this will be extended to all staff in September.

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