9 June 2017
Students and staff at King George V College have been working together to help raise awareness of the importance of issues around mental health and well-being.
Matthew Bousfield, Advanced Level Health and Social Care student and Mental Health Ambassador at the College, organised a programme of inspiring and informative talks which took place at KGV during Mental Health Awareness Week.
Matthew said, “Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Although you cannot see it, it still has on effect on your life.”
Matthew and other representatives, including Steven Gough, an NHS Nurse, and KGV’s Students Services Officer Alison Wiggins, were available for students to talk to.
Matthew gave a talk on his own experiences with mental health. He said, “The audience had sceptical opinions on mental health at first, but they seemed to thoroughly enjoy the talk. Hopefully I helped change the way mental health is perceived.”
Children at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School in Birkdale were also treated to a programme of mindfulness sessions delivered by KGV Progress Coach, Jane Gallagher.
Jane, who is also a qualified yoga and mindfulness teacher, delivered a series of assemblies to all year groups at the school during their Mental Health Awareness Week.
Jane said, “It was an honour to be invited into the school during SATS week which is one of the most stressful weeks for primary school children.
“In a series of age appropriate assemblies I explained how we can create our own calm in a stressful world and took the children through a series of fun techniques which the children enjoyed practising.”
Following the assembly, each class teacher was given a set of breathing cards with a variety of activities that can be practised by children to help improve their mental wellbeing.
Jane added, “Simple exercises such as playful breathing can increase the amount of oxygen in the blood resulting in a more alert and focused mind.
Mel Siddell, PSHE co-ordinator at Our Lady of Lourdes, said, “The assemblies were calm and relaxing and gave our children lots of coping strategies for when they are worried or sad.”
Year 5 pupil, Megan, aged 10 added, “I loved the breathing techniques that we were taught. My favourite was back to back breathing which we have practised in class this week”