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Teens give mental health workshops to 1,000 Walsall pupils

By Jordan Reynolds | Walsall | Education | Published:

Teenagers have given mental health workshops to 1,000 primary school pupils across Walsall.

Year 12 pupils at Queen Mary's Grammar School have been going into primary schools in the borough at least once a week for three years to teach the youngsters ways to look after their mental health.

And now they have carried out workshops with their 1,000th pupil – at Short Heath Primary School.

Sophie McPhee, PHSE coordinator at Queen Mary's Grammar School, said the workshops aim to be proactive rather than reacting to problems once they are already there.

She said: "By the end of this academic year we will have visited 25 schools to deliver the mental health workshops.

"This is the third year of the 'Change Your Mind' programme which started off as a mental health project for sixth formers to enter the Speaker's School Council competition.

"It's one hour per workshop and there are six topics which are delivered in pairs.

"Our most popular workshop is digital detox where we look at topics such as online gaming, social media, explicit content and fake news.

"As we're all aware, mental health issues among young people is a problem at the moment and rather than just reacting we want to be proactive to help them to maintain optimum mental health.

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"We like to think we're a little bit ahead of the game.

"The older pupils get a mental health education by preparing the presentations and I also expect them to be highly organised and present to a high quality.

"Walsall School Nurses has endorsed the programme and we'll be working more closely with the nurses."

If schools want to find out more about the mental health workshops, contact Queen Mary's Grammar School and ask for Sophie McPhee.

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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