Student leaders at ACG Sunderland initiated a charity-focused mental health week to highlight the importance of student wellbeing and raise money for Youthline.
“Our services and charities for 2017 have all centred on wellbeing,” explained Year 13 leader Hope Olivia Adams. “Mental health is an important issue in today’s society and we believe it’s crucial that students at ACG Sunderland are aware of it.”
The hashtag #loveyourself linked the week of activities; which included form-times dedicated to discussions about self-perception and personal qualities, ways to deal with stress during exams, an afternoon of outdoor sports and activities, talent shows and a mufti day.
According to teacher Janine Tyler, a key part of the student week was to look at the positives – keeping yourself healthy – rather than the negatives.
“We focused on prevention and I can honestly say that it was a huge success. Students were having a great time, working together, creating art, expressing themselves through dance and playing games. The feedback I received from staff and students was that we should do this more often.”
Year 13 student Anthony Barnfather-Williamson said the leadership team succeeded in providing students with the tools to use Youthline if they needed to, and raised over $450 for the charity in the process.
The success of the initiative was down to strong student leadership and relevance of the cause, said principal Nathan Villars.
“Our leadership set-up gives a great deal of autonomy to the students to decide on charities and services we will support each year. This was a particularly relevant and timely issue as students start to prepare for upcoming Cambridge exams and I believe they got a huge amount out of it.”
Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 9-15 October 2017