Week of activities helps raise awareness of mental health among Lancaster students

Sixth Form Council chair Polly Haythornthwaite and secretary Charlotte Ryan, who organised the programme of events.
Sixth Form Council chair Polly Haythornthwaite and secretary Charlotte Ryan, who organised the programme of events.
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A week of activities to raise awareness of mental health was held at Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School.

Organised by the Sixth Form Council, the event coincided with World Mental Health Day and included fun activities as well as support from external agencies.

Lancashire Mind attend LGGS Mental Health Awareness Fair.

Lancashire Mind attend LGGS Mental Health Awareness Fair.

Many aspects of wellbeing are already incorporated into the school’s curriculum, as well as providing a high level of pastoral support.

However, the Mental Health Awareness Week aimed to specifically promote the importance of an awareness of mental health issues, and activities were designed to support positive mental health among the students.

Polly Haythornthwaite, chair of the Sixth Form Council, said: “The council has chosen mental health awareness as its core campaign for this academic year.

“Raising awareness of mental health was a project that the whole Sixth Form Council felt really passionate about; we have all been affected by mental health whether that be through personal experience or through friends and family.

Teachers join in the LipSync Battle.

Teachers join in the LipSync Battle.

“With the support of our teachers, I think we’ve been successful in delivering the message that talking about our mental health is not embarrassing or awkward, and that it’s actually really important.”

Julie Dobson, head of Year 13, said: “I am so proud of everything the Sixth Form Council has done to work on lifting the stigma that can surround talking about mental health issues.

“As sixth formers at LGGS they feel confident themselves to come and ask for support when they need it, and we encourage them to do this in good time to stop problems escalating.

“It is great to see that they are promoting this ethos with the rest of the school in such an informative and fun way.”

The Samaritans attend LGGS Mental Health Awareness Fair.

The Samaritans attend LGGS Mental Health Awareness Fair.

Activities throughout the week included a Just Dance-athon, which highlighted the benefits of taking a break from studying and using the time to join in some physical, endorphin-promoting activity.

The main event of the week, a Mental Health Awareness Fair, was designed to appeal to students from all year groups.

The team was very grateful to the visitors from external agencies who came in to talk to students: Mindsmatter, The Samaritans, ACE, Lancashire Mind, Addaction and Community Alcohol Partnership.

There were also a number of sixth form students demonstrating useful resources for younger students such as mindfulness apps.

Sixth Form pupils at the Mental Health Awareness Fair.

Sixth Form pupils at the Mental Health Awareness Fair.

The finale to the week was an extremely popular lunchtime charity fundraising event when LGGS staff lined up for a Staff Lip Sync Battle.

Stars of the show were Mr Flory and Mr Yearnshire from the school’s history department who strutted their stuff to Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance with Somebody.

For more information and support regarding mental health, please click here