A big well done to members of the Sutton Coldfield Youth Council and students from Sutton Coldfield College for completing their two-day Youth Mental Health First Aid training on Friday 10th May ready for Mental Health Awareness Week!
The Sutton Coldfield Youth Council, is an assembly of students from each of the eight secondary schools and colleges in Sutton Coldfield, aiming to lead social action projects to make a positive impact in the local community.
After leading projects to raise items for the local food bank, a Christmas quiz to combat elderly loneliness during Christmas, most recently they have been working on raising awareness of student mental health, an issue that has touched many of them and myself.
Thanks to the generosity of Better Pathways, the students were offered Youth Mental Health First Aid training which all forms part of the Youth Council’s mental health campaign, taking place over Mental Health Awareness Week (w/c Monday 14th May) with each school running their own activities and events to promote a healthy mind and wellbeing.
The Youth Council have partnered up with a number of mental health charities including Cameron Grant Memorial Trust and Birmingham Mind; distributing the Trust’s coasters and cards with mental health messages and contacts printed on them and sharing news of Birmingham Mind’s ‘Crisis Café’ taking place on Thursday 17 th May in Erdington, during Mental Health Awareness Week.
The Youth Council have also designed an informative leaflet SCYC Mental Health Booklet 2018 that they will be distributing, with tips about how to cope with stress in the lead up to exams and with mental health issues; sharing helpful websites, apps, and contact details for charities and services that can help.
Many of the students are supporting the work that schools are already doing at a student level with those completing the certified training hopefully becoming Mental Health Champions in each of their schools. Arthur Terry School will be holding a fortnightly ‘Wellbeing Café’ at lunchtime where students can come to them for mental health support and participate in mindfulness activities to relieve themselves of any stress they may be feeling. The Mental Health Champions at Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls in comparison, will be setting up a Mental Health Council- all excellent studengt led initiatives which I am sure will make a lasting difference, seen and unseen, to many in the years to come.