Staff and pupils at Sheffield schools have become mental health champions to raise awareness of the issue – with research showing one in 10 young people will suffer from a mental health problem.
Sheffield is one of 22 pilot areas to be awarded £3.2 million from the Department for Education and NHS England to help support the emotional health and well-being of pupils. The local pilot was match funded by NHS Sheffield CCG with Sheffield City Council as a joint commissioner.
In October, last year staff from Sheffield City Council and Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) worked with six primary schools and four secondary schools in Sheffield to develop a new way of supporting the emotional wellbeing and mental health of pupils in schools. The ‘Sheffield Healthy Minds Framework’ is an early help and prevention way of working being rolled out in schools across the city to promote and support children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health.
In Sheffield Mental Health Week (10th -16th October) we shine a spot light on one of the schools involved, Tapton.
Since the project began 20 members of staff have become mental health champions acting as the student’s first point of contact with any concerns or worries and 15 students are acting as champions to support the school with this work. A recent school survey has shown that students are now much more aware of their own mental health since the project started and feel they are able to access support if they need it.
Steven Rippin, Assistant Head teacher at Tapton School said: “The project has been a great success. With support from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, we have organised workshops to help students with exam pressures as well as run assemblies to help students recognise the signs of stress, create good habits to create healthy minds and manage their stress.
Steve said: “My hope is that by working with our young people on their mental health we will help our students to make the right decisions and get things right for them. At Tapton we are passionate about changing the culture of mental health. Working to improve our young people’s mental health is a long term project for us and we will continue the work that this project has started. Working with our student champions we are already looking at how we can help our students with one of the top problems- getting a good night’s sleep.”
As well as Tapton, the other schools involved in the project have made great progress. Over 1000 secondary students, 700 primary students, 500 parents and 500 school staff have responded to a Healthy Minds survey which is being used to shape PSHE lessons and the work the schools do to support mental health.
Councillor Jackie Drayton, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families said: “Young people with mental health problems have told me that getting help early, and at a local level is a vital part of helping them overcome stress and preventing and escalation of symptoms. That’s why it’s fantastic to see that this new project and the work at Tapton is making a positive impact on their student’s mental health.’
The project is being delivered by the Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
A full programme of events are running to celebrate mental health week. You can find out more at https://www.facebook.com/SheffieldMentalHealthWeek