Stamford schools team up with Mindspace to help the mental health of the community
A pioneering way to help people lead happier lives has been launched in Stamford.
Former head teacher of Bluecoat Primary School Carol Hines has teamed up with Mindspace Stamford to get children talking more freely about their emotions.
The strategy began at Stamford Welland Academy on Thursday (September 19) with activities for primary and secondary school pupils, plus students from New College Stamford, to explore the NHS’s ‘five steps to mental wellbeing’.
These included working with Stamford’s Poet Laureate Chris Martin to find words to describe emotions, and getting active with Olympic swimmer Sophie Allen.
Dr Dan Petrie, founder of MindSpace, said: “We’re creating a model for all schools to use which will help young people to better understand about their thoughts, feelings and emotions.”
He explained that pupils would take back their ideas about how to improve happiness and wellbeing, and share these with friends and teachers in school.
Further work in each school would help pupils take the ideas back to their families at home and the wider community.
“We’re trying to get people of all ages taking about their thoughts, feelings and emotions,” added Dan.
“A school of 1,000 pupils can reach out to about12,000 people, and so young people can help to raise the wellbeing of the whole community.
“As a resident of Stamford and a parent myself I feel this is a life-long project for me, in helping to make sure we can enjoy living in a flourishing community.”
As head of Bluecoat Primary School, Carol trialled similar work with nursery children up to 11-year-olds, with very positive results.
Since leaving, she has become an ambassador for the strategy, which she hopes will become a priority in schools across Lincolnshire through the Mobilise project, which helps share good ideas.
“It’s about bringing about a shift in the culture in schools, rather than people just paying lip service to mental wellbeing,”said Carol.
The five steps to mental wellbeing are:
- Connect with people around you
- Be active by making an activity you enjoy a part of your life
- Keep learning new life skills to give a sense of achievement
- Give to others even if it’s a smile or a kind word
- Be mindful by being aware of your thoughts, feelings, body and the world around you
More by this authorSuzanne Moon